The first day of the New Year is fixed by the passage
of the sun to Samphout - or, to point zero. On this day, the spirit of the world descends
again from the sky.
In the afternoon, monks from different vats sprinkle
the Buddha statues at Vat Vixun and Vat That; the Pou Gneu Gna Gneu is danced on the
esplanade of each vat. In the evening, Ramayana dances are performed at the royal Palace.
Early on the second day of the New Year, monks read the Phune Pra Bang, or Pra
Bangs history before the statue Guardian of the Kingdom. Prayers over, the monks place the
statue in a prasat or wooden shrine whereupon guards in procession transport it to Vat May
to be transferred onto a gilded prasat. On Vat Vixun92s esplanade, the Pou Gneu Gna Gneu
On the following day, the procession visits the Vat Sangkhalok to sprinkle the
Buddha statues. On the morning of the fourth day of the New Year, the population travel up
the Mekong by boat. After stopping by at Vat Done Khoune to sprinkle the Buddha statues,
the cortege stops next at Pak Ou to sprinkle the Buddha statues in Tham Ting cave. The
procession then stays overnight on the sandy beach facing the cave.
On the afternoon of the fifth day, the Pou Gneu Gna Gneu is danced before the
Pra Bang statue at Vat May. It is then sprinkled with holy water after which a vigil
On the morning of the sixth day of the year, the Pra Bang is escorted back in
procession from Vat May to the Palace. Finally, in the ninth month, the famous Boat
Festival', Boun Xouang Hua, is celebrated in Luang Prabang to achieve purity and bliss.
This event is celebrated the following month in other parts of Laos.