Boat racing is a local festival that takes place every year all around the country during September and October. Most Laos traditional boat racing festivals take place before the end of Buddhist lent. Dates vary from year to year, but most festival are held on weekends.
Traditionally, after the rice planting season villages on the river banks prepare themselves for the upcoming boat racing festival in and around their communities. Teams of rowers are usually sponsored either by big name companies, such as Beer Lao, and telecom companies or by organizations in Vientiane.
On the race day, every household in the host village prepares special food and drinks. One typical food in this day is noodle which is called Khao Poon in Lao. As guests arrive at their house they are served some noodles and something to drink. This tradition has been carries on for generations and it’s also practiced in BounPavet or Boun Bang Fai.
Besides food and drinks, the host village also needs to build temporary shelters for he invited guests and the rowing crews, to stay the night during days of this festival. These shelters are as simple as bamboo huts or tents. Each families in the village contributes basic stuff like mattresses, pillows and blankets.
Usually, during these days, the town come alive with noise and festivity as the teams make their way to the river either by truck or walking, banging drums and singing. The streets to and along the Mekong river bank are very crowed as thousands of spectators cram along to cheer their teams