Best time to go to Laos

Hmong New Year 2023-2024

An indigenous ethnic group of Northern Laos displays their own festive traditions

Hmong New Year
Hmong New Year
Hmong New Year

The Hmong are an ethnic group taking roots in some regions of China, Laos, and Vietnam. Today it is spread around the world, but its cultural and religious customs are still kept and adhered to in its local communities. In Laos, the Hmong people mostly inhabit the northern parts of the country and can be easily distinguished by their language and clothes. Hmong New Years is celebrated in early December. Luang Prabang and nearby Hmong villages are great places to participate. The festival lasts for three days and according to the tradition of "Noj Peb Caug" ten different dishes of food are prepared for each day. So, this is probably the best time and place to try 30 different Asian dishes.

In-house customs involve shamans who honour spirits of wealth and healing. They release spirits to wander for awhile and then welcome them back. This is called "Hu Plig" (Spirits calling).

Outdoor New Years celebrations typically include a traditional game called pov pob (tossing a cotton ball), ox fighting, spinning-top races, and music concerts. Unique ethnic instruments like teun-flutes and khene pipes can be heard during the performances. Also, New Years is a favorable event for Hmong youth to meet a future wife or husband. In Hmong communities, ​it isn't allowed to marry within the clan group, so finding a partner is preferable during joint celebrations. Thus, young women and men dress in their best ethnic costumes to show off.

Find hotels and airbnbs near Hmong New Year (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin