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Pha That Luang

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The Pha That Luang is a large Buddhist stupa covered in gold in the centre of Vientiane, Laos. It is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos, and a national symbol (you can find it on the armories of the country and bank notes).

Originally constructed in the 3rd century, the stupa has undergone several renovations over the time, and the current structure dates back to the 16th century.

The Pha That Luang is an important site for the Lao people, it is a popular tourist attraction in Vientiane that should not be missed. It is a beautiful and ornate structure, with intricate carvings and decorations covering the surface of the stupa.

Every year, on the first full moon of November, the festival of stupas takes place throughout the country. This festival is particularly important at That Luang. It takes place over three days, it is the Boun Namatsakane Pha That Luang ("Tribute and devotion to the great stupa"). Tens of thousands of faithful and monks from all over the country gather, and many processions, offerings and torchlight parades take place. On this occasion one can also attend ritual feasts of tikki, a form of hockey which is played with bamboo crosses; some say that this game originating in Laos would then have arrived in Burma and would have given birth to the field hockey of the British.

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