Luang Prabang limits Lao New Year celebrations over Covid-19 concerns

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The international outbreak of Covid-19 has caused Luang Prabang province to scale back its traditional Lao New Year festivities planned for April 13-16, the Pathetlao Daily has reported.

The provincial capital will hold only the most important traditional events and will limit activities deemed nonessential such as concerts, exhibitions and other large public gatherings.

According to the World Health Organisation, as of March 8, over 100 countries had reported laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19. However, Laos does not so far have any confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

With the virus continuing to spread worldwide, authorities in the World Heritage-listed city announced on March 6 the decision to downsize festivities to help prevent a possible outbreak in Laos.

This year’s celebrations will comprise traditional activities such as washing Buddha images at temples with perfumed water. The decision follows on from the postponement or cancellation of other major events around the country. Xieng Khuang province’s National Games, scheduled for March 22 to April 1, have been postponed with new dates yet to be confirmed.  An event planned to celebrate the naming of Haihin in Xieng Khuang as a World Heritage Site, and the consecration of the Pha Chao Ong Luang Pathanphone bronze statute in Xieng Khuang province, have also been postponed.



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