The number of festivals in Laos is incredible. It seems that somewhere there is always something going on, especially during the cooler season between November and February. Many festivals are linked to Buddhist rituals (such as pilgrimages) and follow the lunar calendar, so the festival dates are different each year.
* February: In Laos, the Boun Pha Wet is celebrated; a festival based around the reincarnation of Buddha as Prince Vessantara.
* April: New Year, Songkran, is celebrated in mid-april. Buddha statues are "bathed" with monks showing their respect by sprinkling water over their hands and thoroughly cleaning their houses. The crowd is cooled with ice water and the festival takes place when it is at its hottest. Even as a tourist you can expect to be soaked in water thrown by gay Lao. If you want to stay dry, you can best stay locked in your room for that moment!
* May: The Visakha Busaa is celebrated in Laos. It is a feast commemorating birth, enlightenment and the death of Buddha.
* August / September: In Laos, Hor Khao Din Padap is celebrated, an expression of respect to the dead. At the same time in Luang Prabang Boun Suang Heua (boat racing festival) is held.
* October / November: That Luang festival held around That Luang Stupa, in Vientiane.