By John Morris Williams
The annual Luang Prabang Handicraft Festival is underway. Organised by Heuan Chan Heritage Luang Prabang, “Lad-Bhu Han” is running from 28 January to 4 February, as part of the Visit Laos Year 2018 campaign. The event takes place on a quaint side street with traditional Luang Prabang-style wooden houses in the heart of the UNESCO city.
Keo Oudomvilay, who is in charge of the organising committee, and her team of artisans and supporters, have rolled out an exhibition including booths, traditional performances, fashion show, and handicraft demonstrations.
Visitors to the festival will find showcases by various ethnic communities, displaying silk and cotton fabrics and traditional ethnic garb, as well as other crafts. The various communities are also presenting weaving demonstrations using age-old practices.
Many of the younger artisans are being coached by the older generation on weaving and pattern designs. Each tribe has his own styles and colours.
Their work can be seen in evening performances which combine traditional Lao dances with a fashion show.
Visitors will also find an ample selection of organic produce and homemade delicacies grown and created from the heart and homes of local villagers, which makes Luang Prabang one of the most unique and culturally enriched towns in Laos and Asia.