Slow Boat Ride

In October 2022, Eugenia and I spent a few weeks in Laos both in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. A big reason for going was that Eugenia gave some workshops in Vientiane, but we also gave some school lectures through Lecturers Without Borders while there. But by chance we also scheduled a trip to Luang Prabang to coincide with the local Boun Ok Phansa celebrations – the end of the three-month Vassa observed by Theravada practitioners, often also named “Buddhist Lent” in English.

Ban Xang Hai

Luang Prabang

Due to the COVID pandemic, 2022 was the first time in 3 years that the traditional celebrations could happen. Most temples and houses in the city are decorated with colorful lanterns and candles.

As part of the Boun Ok Phasa celebrations, large floats – illuminated by candles – are built which move in a parade through the town center of Luang Prabang, in front of the former royal palace and many of the adjacent temples. Besides the floats, schools and other groups walk with lanterns or perform music and dances.

Temple life

Boun Ok Phasa in Luang Prabang

You can find the full collection of images on Flickr, where they are openly licensed. You can also buy hand-made prints of some of these images – that I made using the traditional darkroom printing.

Bastian Greshake Tzovaras

Bastian Greshake Tzovaras

Photographer in the streets, avid reader in the sheets.

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