Lai Heua Fai

Lai Heua Fai, meaning ‘floats of light downstream’ is a festival held for the end of Lent each year in Laos, I followed it this year in Luang Prabang. Each temple and village from the surrounding area
submits a boat that is ceremoniously paraded through town and placed in the
Mekong where they join hundreds of small banana leaf candles to float
downstream. Before being placed in the river the boats are presented a Wat
Xieng Thong, the oldest temple in town where they are judged by a panel and the
best boats crowned champions, before being thrown in the river never to be seen

In the days and weeks leading up to the parade the town is awash with lights
and colourful decorations as each temple tries to outdo each other for the most
amount of lights and candles. Think the traditional Christmas lights where
everyone gets involved and almost solely relies on candles for light.

I almost left Luang Prabang but was persuaded by many people that this was THE festival
to see in town, and they weren’t wrong. One of the more spectacular things I’ve
seen on my travels. 

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