Laos New Year - Pii Mai

Right: Rambo takes a bath

New Year is celebrated in Laos with water, and lots of it. Pick-up trucks roam the streets armed with buckets, water canons, water bombs and other implements of distraction while on the streets people boogie down to loud music, downing copious amouts of Beerlao and respond with buckets, hoses and no small quantity of laughter. In the opressive heat of the dry season the water is some respite though cameras and cellphones need to be well wrapped up in the fire zone or perhaps best left at home.

Pii Mai

Drive by shootings buy motorcycle pillions with water packs strapped to their backs are common as are cross-dressing revellers and there is the random possibility of having your face smeared with flour. Falangs are certainly not exempt from attention and the common cry is "sabaii dii pii mai!"

boys will be boysbath time
Haw Pha Kaeo

Left: Haw Pha Kaeo

During Pimai many locals will visit temples to place water on the Buddhas and to recieve blessings from monks. The water will contain blossoms such as those from the dok koun tree which is believed to posses qualities that impart good luck.

After splashing water on the idols they will catch a few drops and apply it to their heads believing it will bring them good luck and keep them in good health.