Every year, to celebrate the end of lent locals across the country attend the Lhai Heue Fai, a real sight to behold, and here in Luang Prabang we are blessed to have the most spectacular one of all. All the villages and Temples in and around Luang Prabang will make their own hand-crafted dragon boats decorated with candles. The boats are paraded through the town and arrive at Wat Xieng Thong, just 2 minutes’ walk from the hotel. From here the boats are carried down to the river front and placed in the Mekong River where they majestically float off downstream into the night. As well as the boats, people will release their own personal handmade candle light container with incense, flowers and food into the river. It’s a truly remarkable sight as the Mekong lights up like the night sky, with thousands of small lights floating downstream.
The annual event has several meanings behind it. One is to pay homage to the great Mekong River (the mother of all water) and also to ask for forgiveness for any misuse of her water. It is also for washing away all of our negativity in life and even for sending offerings to the dead. Above all though, it is seen as a means to pay homage to the Lord Buddha.
A truly stunning thing to see, and one of the most popular dates on the Lao calendar, we highly recommend that you attend this event if you have the possibility to do so.