Boun Khoun Khao is one of the most important festivals of Laotians reflecting and honoring agriculture of Laos. Also known as the Rice Festival, Boun Khoun Khao take places around the capital of Vientiane – the peaceful and beautiful city on the bank of Mekong River.
Boun Khoun Khao Festival is for expressing appreciation for the spirit and abundance of the land and the rice harvest. Boun Khoun Khao Festival’s time depends on Buddhist lunar calendar; however, it is often in March. Joining in this festival, tourists will have chance to witness tradition and customs of small villages and characterized Buddhist pagodas around the city. During the ceremony, people sit around a giant and graceful bunch of flower called as Pha Khouan. The most sacred ceremony of the festival is carried out by a senior in the village who will tie a white cotton strings around others’ wrists and pray for their happiness. On festive days, people often offer delicacies like deep-fried Mekong fish, papaya salad and rice alcohol to express gratitude to nature and Mekong River for giving them abundant crops. After rituals and ceremonies, there are exciting entertaining activities of dancing and singing in traditional music. Visitors are all welcome to take part in ceremonies and afterward festive days.