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City Leaders Announce Rules Around Luang Prabang Lao New Year Festivities

Source: Vientiane Times

Luang Prabang authorities have issued regulations aimed at ensuring the annual Lao New Year celebrations next month are organized and enjoyed in a safe and orderly manner.

The rules were announced by the city’s Governor Viengthong Hatsachanh, who also revealed that the traditional rituals and festivities will take place from April 10-20.

Everyone is obliged to comply with the regulations and security officials will be on duty around the clock to prevent and monitor for any disturbances such as looting, as well as fires.

With carousing expected throughout the town as the streets turn into watery battlefields, revelers must take heed of specific limitations on riotous behavior.

Authorities have banned the transport of large water containers on pick-ups as well as the filling of plastic bags with water to hurl at bystanders. The use of powder and messy or dirty substances in water is also banned, along with sexual harassment and violent behavior.

Hotel managers and the owners of rented properties must notify officials of all guests.

Business operators of all kinds are forbidden from raising the price of accommodation, merchandise, bus journeys and boat trips, and food.

The first day of the holiday will see the opening of a street market at That Luang Square. The first round of the Miss Sangkhan competition will take place on April 11 and the final round on April 12. On April 13, Buddha images will be taken out of temples so they can be washed.

On April 14, the Lue ethnic group festival will take place, featuring cultural traditions, while people will also visit temples to pour specially prepared water over Buddha images.

On April 15, everyone will take to the streets to throw water over each other and devotees will again go to temples to respectfully pour water and flowers over Buddha images.

The program on April 16 includes almsgiving, a Visit Laos Year tourism parade, a Naga parade, and a lantern parade.

From April 17-19, the city’s governor and high-ranking officials will visit the town’s most revered temples to dribble water over Buddha statues, and on April 20 they
will gather at Souvannaphoum Malam temple.