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That Luang Festival to Showcase Ancient Lao Traditions

Source: The Sun

The annual That Luang festival, featuring a colourful display of rituals and ancient customs, will take place in Vientiane from Nov 23-27.

The festival dates were announced at a meeting led by the Mayor of Vientiane, Mr Atsaphangthong Siphandone.

Committees and sub-committees are preparing for the festival to ensure public security and the orderly progression of the event, the provision of bus services, traffic organisation, and preparations for Visit Laos Year 2024.

The various activities of the Vientiane Phra That Luang Festival will take place at the That Luang esplanade and the Lao-ITECC shopping centre.

On Nov 23, people will meet at 4:30pm according to tradition. At 4:30pm on Nov 25, the Parita Mongkun ceremony will take place at the Phat Luang Medal Hall.

On Nov 26 at 1:30pm the ceremony of the Temple of Honey will take place, followed on Nov 27 at 7am by the Sangathan ceremony and in the afternoon of the same day by the traditional tiki match.

The festival will culminate at 7:30pm on November with a candlelight procession and fireworks in honour of Buddha.

The festival grounds will be open to the public from 9am to 11pm each day.

The inner courtyard of the That Luang stupa is the centre of worship and the place where the most reverent ceremonies will take place.

The outer area of the courtyard will not be used for the sale of goods, except for flowers, incense and candles, and any activities authorised by the commission.

Zone A on the north side of the stupa from the corner of Kaysone Phomvihane Road to the entrance to the National Assembly will be reserved for stalls set up by export and import companies and the sale of general consumer goods, and will also be used for official parking.

Zone B, in front of the new National Assembly, will have a movie screen, a stage for youth activities, a drinks cart, and snacks on sale for young people, although no alcoholic beverages will be sold at this location.

Zone C runs from the corner of the National Assembly on the south side to the entrance to the King Xaysettha Memorial Park. Footpaths in this area will be used for stalls exhibiting locally made goods and products made by model families.

The area in the middle of the courtyard will be dedicated to tourism products displaying goods and services offered in Laos and foreign cities whose representatives have been invited to the event.

Zone D extends from the entrance to the King Xaysettha Memorial Park to the wall of the power station in the That Luang area and will be used by growers to exhibit ornamental trees. On the opposite side of the wall, there will be an exhibition of processed goods.

The fair at Lao-ITECC will sell handicrafts, industrial goods and general household goods made in Laos and other countries throughout the five-day festival.