That Luang Festival
A yearly, traditional, buddhistic celebration and festival at Pha That Luang in Vientiane, Laos
Pha That Luang is the national symbol
and most important religious monument of Laos.
It dates from 1566. It has been distroyed and ransacked and renovated numerous times since
then.Vientiane's most important festival, Bun That Luang, is held here for three days during
the full moon of the twelfth lunar month (November).
The That Luang Festival is an important Theravada Buddhist holiday for the Lao nation. The site of Pha That
Luang is sacred, since the Lao believe the stupa enshrines a relict of Buddha. Monks and laypeople from
all over Laos congregate to celebrate the occasion with three days of religious ceremony followed by a
week of festivities, day and night.
A procession of laypeople begins at Wat Si Muang in the city center to Pha That Luang to make offerings to
the monks in order to accumulate merit for rebirth into a better life. The religious part concludes as
laypeople, carrying incense and candles as offerings, circumambulate Pha That Luang three times in honor
of Buddha. Folk and popular music troupes and drama performances provide entertainment at the festival.
(For further reading see: Evans, Grant. (1998) The Politics of Ritual and Remembrance: Laos since 1975. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press).
The 4 min. preview video reports about the offering ceremonies at Wat Si Muang and the candle light ceremony at Pha That Luang. You can see this Video in HD mode and in full screen at Youtube ( http://youtu.be/VJyXvXtJyfM)
© 2009 mickspatz