What will you do to celebrate the New Year?
To welcome the New Year, with 2019 making an entry on Tuesday, many people are planning celebrations with friends and family while others will pray at a temple. Vientiane Times asked around to find out how people plan to usher in the New Year.

Ms Khambang, an official in Vientiane: Of course, I like a drink but I don’t drink on New Year’s Eve. I live in Vientiane and often go to a temple where I can spend the night praying and meditating. I feel good doing that and last year many people went to temples, both old and young. In the early morning I will return home and take some food to almsgiving. It’s a good way to mark the start of the new year and I would like more people to do this.


Mr Bom, a resident of Xayaboury province: People in my village often have a big celebration on New Year’s Eve which continues into New Year’s Day. Of course, I think people drink too much, including me. But it’s quite hard to change people’s attitude as far as that’s concerned. Some people drink a lot even though they don’t have much money, especially students, who ask their parents for money to buy drinks and the food they’ll eat for the rest of the week.

Ms Dokmai Bouddavong, an employee in Vientiane province: I don’t usually make big plans for the New Year. Last year I went to my hometown to see my family because we had three days off. But this year I don’t intend to do that because I only have one day’s holiday. I plan to celebrate with my friends instead. I don’t think anyone will be upset if we don’t do anything particularly noteworthy because they know that on this occasion everyone gets together for a party.

Ms Payamua Xuago, a student in Vientiane province: I don’t like to go out on New Year’s Eve because people drink too much and I often see road accidents. I think it’s better to celebrate at home with my family, especially as I also have to work in my grocery shop which is at our house. Some of my friends like to go to concerts but I’m not sure if they’ll be doing that this year. I appeal to everyone not to drink too much if they are going to drive because this should be a happy time and it won’t be if there are accidents.

Ms Moukdavanh Keoalay, a college student in Saravan province: New Year is a time when people drink and play loud music, both in the day and at night. It’s not much fun for people who aren’t interested in drinking but unfortunately this is part of Lao culture and it’s what everyone does. In my opinion the best way to celebrate the New Year is to have a nice time cooking food with friends and family. Have soft drinks and play quiet music that won’t bother your neighbours. I know that everyone wants to party until the countdown but we should get to bed after that so that we don’t take things to excess. Another problem I have is the loud noise created by fireworks. I think people should be considerate and use ones that are suitable, which should be let off only during the countdown, not through the night and next day.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update December 2, 2018)

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