Though officially only a 3 day festival, every April Pi Mai Lao cerebrated with style in Luang Prabang-the events and activities last a full week here. There is a trade fair at the old stadium, open markets on the main street, a ‘Miss Lao New Year’ contest and various parades. Buddha images are taken out of the temples to be cleaned in perfumed water by the faithful, baci (a traditional blessing ceremony) are held in people’s homes, and symbolic sand stupas are built for good luck. The revered Phabang-the Buddha from which Luang Prabang derives its name-is displayed and worshipped at Vat Mai. Pi Mai, However is best known as a cheerful water festival- everyone throws water on one another so be prepared to get soaked!