Source: Vientiane Times
The government has announced a five-day holiday for Lao New Year (Pi Mai Lao) including two days in compensation for the weekend, enabling people to celebrate the event for longer.
Pi Mai Lao is traditionally celebrated for only three days from April 14-16.
Given that April 15 and 16 occur on a weekend (Saturday and Sunday), the government has declared April 13 (Thursday) and April 17 (Monday) as public holidays in compensation, according to an announcement issued yesterday by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The government called for all state departments and the rest of the country to celebrate the national festival in the spirit of preserving the fine traditions and customs of the multiethnic Lao people, as well as promoting tourism.
In its announcement, the government entrusted the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to work with the relevant sectors to launch a road-safety campaign and facilitate transport to ease traffic during the holiday, while ensuring that traffic rules are observed in order to avoid road accidents.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce was told to partner with the relevant sectors to ensure a sufficient supply of foods and goods in local markets at this time of high demand. In addition, the government asked the relevant authorities to ensure that merchants do not raise food prices unreasonably.
The government told the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in collaboration with provinces across the country to encourage people to celebrate Pi Mai Lao in line with Lao traditions and customs.
During the holiday, a number of activities will be organised around the country with highlights taking place in major towns and at popular tourist sites. These draw a huge number of domestic and foreign visitors, who enthusiastically take part in water battles and other associated events.
Traditionally and as the New Year approaches, local authorities will announce the details of activities to be organised in specific locations.