Symbol of the Lao nation and the pride of the Lao people, the That Luang stupa has stood in its present form since the middle of the sixteenth century. Containing relies of the lord Buddha and the remains of many famous and powerful monks, the stupa is a major Buddhist shrine as well as the traditional secular symbol of Lao unity. Every year these twin roles are celebrated at the That Luang Festival when Buddhist pilgrims from all over South East Asia join with the people of Vientiane for a week of religious ceremonies and civil revelry around the sacred site.
This religious festival is held in and around That Luang Stupa, the National Symbol of Laos, where hundreds of monks gather to accept alms and floral votives from the people. The festival includes a grand fireworks display at night. During the day, an international trade fair, showcasing tourism in Laos and other countries from ASEAN and the Greater Mekong Sub-region. During the same period a similar festival is also celebrated at Ching Tim Stupa in Luang Namtha Province.
The That Luang Festival, takes place on the full moon of November (14-16 November) here and it is celebrated for seven days and nights continuously.