2024 Public Holidays in Laos

Public Holidays in Laos in 2024

Laos, a landlocked country in Southeast Asia known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, celebrates several public holidays throughout the year. These holidays reflect the nation’s history, traditions, and religious beliefs. In 2024, Laos will observe a variety of public holidays, each with its own significance and customs.

National Holidays

New Year’s Day (ວັນປີໃຫມ່) – January 1st

New Year’s Day in Laos marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. It is celebrated with religious ceremonies, cultural performances, and festive gatherings. Many Laotians visit temples to make merit and offer prayers for good fortune and blessings in the new year. The holiday is also a time for families and friends to come together and enjoy special meals and activities.

Pi Mai (ປີໃຫມ່) – April 14th to April 16th

Pi Mai, also known as the Lao New Year or Songkran, is one of the most important festivals in Laos. It celebrates the traditional Lao New Year based on the Buddhist lunar calendar. Pi Mai is a time for purification, renewal, and community festivities. During the three-day celebration, people participate in water-related activities, visit temples, and pay respects to elders by pouring scented water over their hands.

International Labour Day (ວຽງຈັນເມືອງມະຫາວິທະຍາ) – May 1st

International Labour Day in Laos recognizes the contributions and rights of workers. It is celebrated with parades, speeches, and cultural events organized by trade unions and workers’ associations. Many workers also enjoy a day off to relax and spend time with their families.

Visakha Bucha Day (ວິສາຂະບູຈັນ) – Date varies (based on the Buddhist lunar calendar)

Visakha Bucha Day, also known as Buddha Day, commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha. It is one of the most sacred days in Buddhism and is observed with religious ceremonies, almsgiving, and meditation. Many Laotians visit temples to offer prayers and make merit on Visakha Bucha Day.

Boun Bang Fai (ບຸນບັ້ງໄຟ) – Date varies (based on lunar calendar, typically in May)

Boun Bang Fai, or the Rocket Festival, is an annual celebration held in many parts of Laos to bring rain for the rice-growing season. The festival features colorful parades, traditional music and dance performances, and the launching of homemade bamboo rockets into the sky. Boun Bang Fai is a vibrant and lively event that showcases the cultural diversity and creativity of the Laotian people.

That Luang Festival (ບຸນບັ້ງໄຟ) – Date varies (based on lunar calendar, typically in November)

The That Luang Festival is held at the That Luang Stupa in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. It is one of the most important religious festivals in the country, celebrating the Buddhist heritage and cultural identity of Laos. The festival features religious ceremonies, traditional processions, and colorful performances. Thousands of devotees gather at the That Luang Stupa to pay homage and make offerings during the festival.

National Day (ວັນຊົງຊາດ) – December 2nd

National Day in Laos commemorates the establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on December 2, 1975. It is a time to celebrate the nation’s independence and unity. National Day is marked by flag-raising ceremonies, cultural events, and displays of national pride.

Table of Public Holidays and Days Off

Holiday Date Days Off Groups
New Year’s Day January 1 1 All
Pi Mai April 14-16 3 All
International Labour Day May 1 1 Workers
Visakha Bucha Day Date varies 1 Buddhists
Boun Bang Fai Date varies 1-2 All
That Luang Festival Date varies 1 All
National Day December 2 1 All

 

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