Ancestor Festival – the Lao traditional festival on the full moon each year of September

Hey! Are you in Laos right now? Or are you planning a trip to Laos? What are your September plans in Laos? September is a special month to spend your holiday in Laos.

Ask me why? Because Lao tradition festival falls in September on the full moon every year. It is the Ancestral Festival of the Lao people to make merit to their ancestors. It is going to be a once in a life time experience for you. Read on to know more about this festival.

If you are using the calendar of Laos, September falls in mid-October, on a Buddhist Holiday.

This festival means that you commemorate to your predecessor (Boun Hor Khao Salak in Lao) or it looks like Growing Rice Festival.


Ancestor Festival

The important thing about this festival is to make merit to our ancestors. The story of Buddhist regional about this festival started from a richest man and his family.

There was one rich man who had many wives. His wives were jealous on one another. When they all died their souls (spirits) became a giant spirit and mostly living in the rice field.

Lao people called it Pitahad ຜີຕາແຮດ ( ghost/soul protects your field). Before planting new rice, the Lao people celebrate and give thanks to make peace with the ghost with plenty of good food. This is only a piece of the big story.

The next generation from Buddhist Ancestors also prepare different useful things to offer to the monks. They will have a small basket that is made from bamboo (handmade basket).

Now a days, many people in the city use plastic basket. It’s easier and cheaper to use plastic bags than handmade bamboo bags. The foods and fruits are bought at the market and put them in the basket.

We also prepare food and fruit with banana leaves and make it as a bowl and put it in front of our house, outside of the wall and at the temple.

Ancestor Festival
Ancestor Festival
Ancestor Festival

This festival is similar with rice growing festival. If a family does not prepare for this festival, all of Buddhist believes that their ancestors won’t have food to eat in their world. We believe that after we offer the basket of foods to monks, they will deliver the foods that we offered to our ancestors.

This festival is important for every household. Every house will teach their child to go to the temple and follow this activity every year.

At night time at the temple, they have activity for all people who love to listen to the Dharma talk, take five precepts and the candle process around the temple, before the end of the day.

Ancestor Festival – the Lao traditional festival on the full moon each year of September

If you want to join this festival, you are very welcome by local Lao people. Finally, you can observe, take a look at the anniversary at any temple nearby or take any photos. Please noted that It is very traffic jam in the Vientiane city in 2019 before the festival or the date of Ancestor Festival for example area: markets, temple, way back home.

It is my pleasure to publish this traditional festival to all readers; I have seen the commemoration every year from since last 30 years and I also hope that the new Lao generation will keep the long-established forever.

Tourists should know more about Lao festival! Normally, I am going to update you with more attractive festivals from time to time;

I wish you all enjoy reading contents and have fun while visiting Laos. If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to leave your comments below.

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