giovedì 25 ottobre 2012


Vientiane, November 11th-17th 2013

This religious festival is held in and around That Luang stupa, the national sysmbol of Laos. It is a three-day religious festival celebrated at full moon in November. It begins with pre-dawn gathering of ten thousands of pilgrims from Laos and Thailand at That Luang who listen to prayers and sermons chanted by hundreds of monks representing all Lao wats. The festival ends with a huge fireworks display.

The capital of Laos lives its moment of glory between October and November, when the ancient Pha That Luang stupa celebrates the full moon in an incredibly colored festival. Great occasion to testify the Buddhist faith, thousands of Laotians come from all over the Country to gather at the bottom of the biggest, golden Laotian stupa. Symbol of Laos, the Pha That Luang sees a procession of people for two full days, but the celebration is prepared a long time before. The whole area the surrounds the large temple becomes a kind of circus, packed with food stalls, sellers and games - amusement park style - that attract children as well as adults. Street eateries open everywhere and anything eatable is sold, from chicken feet to fried bugs... Buddhist monks arrive in mass, putting their offers bowls on infinite tables. Even before the day starts, believers fill up their bowls with rice, banknotes, snacks and candies. The most important moment is at dawn, when the inner circle of the stupa is packed of people praying altogether while the sun rises. A magical light seems to bless the crowd, while people continue giving offers to the many monks lodged under the porticoes. The ritual goes on till the late morning, when believers leave the Pha That Luang and monks collect in big plastic bags the exceptional amount of offerings. They will keep money and rice, giving away snacks and candies to children...

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