GONG XI FA CAI !!

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in Our Thoughts | 0 comments

Wow wow wow, February is indeed a crazy month for us in 10,000 Miles. Since our launch in January, it has been madness every day and we have been working round the clock to firm up itineraries so as to bring the best deals to our friends like you! Nevertheless each day is an exciting day and we look forward to every new day to meet new friends and gain new experience. Another reason that spice up the short February is because in this month alone, we have 2 great events celebrated by most people around the world! In this February, we have the rowdy Chinese New Year and the romantic Valentine’s Day.

Chinese New Year is the most important festival of worldwide Chinese and every household will indulge in detailed preparation to receive the festival. While we Chinese are engaged in the hustle and bustle of the celebration, have you ever wondered how do people in another part of the world celebrate their New Year?

In Asia alone, New Year can be celebrated in many different forms. In Indochina region, we have Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia, Songkran in Thailand, Thingyan in Myanmar and Pi Mai Lao in Laos. The Yunnan’s Dai people and Northern Vietnam’s Tai Dam people celebrate their new year in similar fashion as their Indochina’s neighbours. In Southeast Asia region, we will have the Chinese New Year celebration which most of us are familiar with. In South Asia, we have Deepavali or Diwali in India and Dashain Festival in Nepal. I could go on and on about the New Year celebrations in these countries as they showcase amazing cultures, traditions and colours of the festivities.

Pi Mai LaoOne of the lesser known is the Pi Mai Lao celebration in Laos. Laos is a shy country as compared to its well-known neighbours such as Thailand and Cambodia. As such, little is known of her Pi Mai Lao celebration. To my surprise, it can be equally rowdy and crazy as Songkran and you have to be there to witness the fun. The Laotians regard Pi Mai Lao as the most joyful festival of the year and most of them will take the whole week off though only three days are declared as public holidays. Buddha images will be cleansed with scented water and devotees will gather the scented water and pour on friends and relatives as an act of cleansing and purification before entering the New Year. Tourists are not spared too and everyone will immerse in the joy of getting wet.

The entire festival will last for three days but in Luang Prabang, celebrations have been known to last for around three weeks as the entire population of the city indulged in endless rounds of ceremonies, rituals, games and processions. Atmosphere can get heated up by a large and attractively colorful parade filled with a variety of traditional Lao costumes, music and dance, a Miss New Year beauty contest, a handicraft fair and boat races held on the Mekong river. You will not get bored at Pi Mai Lao.

Be it Chinese New Year or Pi Mai Lao, all of us hope to cleanse away the bad luck of the past year and receive the New Year with hope and aspirations. As we usher in the New Year, we at 10,000 Miles, wish every one of you a great year ahead and check more travel destinations off your wish list. Let’s start off with Luang Prabang in April! Hope to see you there! =)

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