Volunteering abroad is more than only working. You also get immersed in the local culture in Laos. At the end of the Buddhist lent our volunteers in Laos always celebrate two festivals. The Buddhist lent ended this year the 24th of October. Just like in the past our volunteers celebrated together with the locals and our local team the "boat racing festival" and the "festival of the fire boat".
Do you also want to get immersed in a new culture and experience something tourists never experience? Then it may be a good idea to apply to volunteer abroad in Laos.
The boat racing festival
Did you know the Boat Racing Festival (others name known as “Boun Souang Heua”), dates back thousands of years? Boun Souang Heua is a local festival that is held to celebrate the end of the Buddhist Lent.
Traditional racing boats are carved using one single tree. The boats belong to a village and are usually kept in a shelter on the temple grounds and come out only once a year for the race. Several days before the race the boats are cleaned and presented with offerings because the boats are considered sacred items.
Festival of the fire boat
This is the "Lai Heua Fai" Festival, the festival of the fire boat.
The day is celebrated by illuminated boat processions handmade with bamboo and banana trunks, colourfully decorated with candles and money. Each family has to make one, each person has to throw out one illuminated little boat on the Mekong, wishing good luck for the future and paying respect to the spirit of the waters
This ritual has many purposes. One of them is in homage to the river. It also asks for forgiveness for the disrespect and misuse of its water, and last but not least, it’s a way to send away all the negative such as sickness, bad luck and shortcoming.