People enjoy 1st Lao New Year celebration after years of COVID-19

Xinhua, April 15, 2023

People enjoyed Lao New Year celebration activities across the country in 2023, after events were canceled or downsized for three years in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many provinces in Laos held a range of activities to celebrate the Lao New Year in 2023.

The Lao New Year is the most important festival in the Lao calendar and also a time of endless fun for the Laotians, which will be celebrated from April 14 to April 16. Meanwhile, the holiday for festival lasted from Friday to Tuesday when many people return for family reunion.

Director General of the Southern Terminal Bus Station, Souksavath Sisouk, on Tuesday told the media that the station is fully prepared to send passengers from Lao capital Vientiane to the southern provinces during Lao New Year celebrations.

The station will provide buses, technical support and safety measures to ensure that passengers traveling to their hometowns arrive safely. Around 64 to 80 buses will operate per day at the Southern Terminal.

Some people took the China-Laos Railway high-speed train to the northern Laos' tourist hubs of Luang Prabang or Vang Vieng, where the atmosphere is much lively.

Meanwhile, the first cross-border passenger service on the China-Laos Railway between Vientiane and Kunming, the capital city of southwest China's Yunnan province, started on Thursday ahead of the Lao New Year holiday.

The planned launch of the service comes just in time for the traditional Lao New Year, which is expected to boost the rail passenger traffic during a long holiday.

The Lao people are eager to welcome the first group of Chinese travelers arriving on a cross-border passenger train with excitement and hope.

The Prime Minister's Office on March 22 instructed relevant sectors to monitor the price of food and other goods on sale in markets and to regulate the price of services to prevent vendors from taking advantage of the high demand to hike prices.

Authorities across the country were also advised to ensure peace and social order by having security guards on duty throughout the Lao New Year holiday.

Traffic police will be on duty nationwide, including in residential areas, tourist sites, and accident hotspots. They will beef up efforts to prevent traffic rule violations, such as speeding and drunk driving, which are most likely to cause accidents during the holidays.

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism will ensure that tourist sites are fully equipped to serve visitors, both from Laos and abroad.

Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith delivered a New Year message on Wednesday, encouraging the Laotians to overcome the challenges currently facing Laos.

People in Laos observed the festival in a restrained way in 2021 and 2022, with strict COVID-19 prevention and control measures in place.