Pi Mai is Lao’s New Year, also known as the water festival.
The water festival is the New Year’s celebration that takes place in Southeast Asia. It is celebrated in countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, as well as one ethnic group for Xishuangbanna which are similar to Laos. In Buddhism, the 12th lunar month is April, which is why it is the date of the New Year. The water festival takes place over three days from the 14th to the 16th of April, and during this time there are many activities to celebrate Lao’s New Year. Traditionally, this is the time for spring cleansing. We cleanse the house, bed and everything else. Holy water is used to rinse bad spirits from bodies, a rite for good blessings, which over the next year will hopefully be in good health.
On the first day, in the morning, a grand celebration marks the beginning of the festival. An out-door market is set up, where locals go for New Year shopping or market fair on the somewhere. At this place, you can buy clothing, food, and snacks, as well as other traveler highlights. In the afternoon, friends and family have a big party in front of their house or on the road. This includes water fights and drinking beer, which all find very enjoyable.
The second day is the actual New Year’s Day. In the morning of this day, the whole family prepares food, sticky rice, and milk for offering to monks. This is known as alms, locally called Takbath, and for many is a daily ritual – giving is a way of life for every Laotian. Most people go to temple for Takbath. Freeing caged birds or fish is becoming very popular among temple goers. Following this, it is a good time for locals to meet with their family, including cousins, and have a good party in their house. Although it is officially only a three day festival, the events and activities last a full week in Luang Prabang, a primary city of Laos.
The activities here include a trade fair at the old stadium, open markets on the main street, a ‘Miss Lao New Year’ contest, and various parades. Images of Buddha are taken out of the temples to be cleaned in perfumed water by the faithful. Basi, a traditional blessing ceremony, is held in people’s homes, and symbolic sand shapes are built for good luck. The especially revered Prabang – the Buddha from which Luang Prabang derives its name – is displayed and worshiped at Vat Mai. Pi Mai, however, is best known as a cheerful water festival – everyone throws water on one another. Be prepared to get soaked!
Fisher man: fish tap, trou net, net, hook,
Someone chagch the firsh by eletti shot, boom, dinomai
Local: the people here there are agreecuture they grow the montion rice,