The Vientiane Dragon Boat Racing Festival is one of the events marking the end of the Buddhist Lent period, which is called Ork Punsa in Laos and Thailand (read about it at the Buddhism Inter blog, at this Laos travel blog, or at Lao Voices). The race was held this past Thursday, Oct. 13th, along the Mekong River in the capital. Check out this video posted on You Tube to see some of the racing and some of the other goings-on along the riverbank. Lao Voices also has a short article on the history of the boats.
Nai told me that his entire village was celebrating because many of the young men on the winning team, including one of his brothers, are from his neck of the woods. I’ve watched these guys practice and race before, and they are an amazing sight to watch. The You Tube video above will give you some sense of the strength and team work of the top crews. Wish I’d been there. Someday, perhaps.