Laos Culture, Culture of Laos, Laos Festival, Laos Customs and Habit, Laos Music and dance, Laos Architectute
Laos is one of the least urbanized countries in Southeast Asia. Vientiane has around 500,000 people, many in rural districts. Savannakhet and Pakse are the next most important cities, while Luang Prabang is the most important historical city.
Since the revolution, the arts have been under state patronage and direction. In the 1990s, some writers began to publish stories in Thailand for money, but publication inside Laos requires state approval. The reading audience is very small, and it is hard for artists to find an audience. Traditional performers can make a living independently from state patronage.
Lao cuisine is the cuisine of the Lao ethnic group of Laos and Northeast Thailand (Isan). Lao food is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines.
Symbol of the Lao nation and the pride of the Lao people, the That Luang stupa has stood in its present form since the middle of the sixteenth century. Containing relies of the lord Buddha and the remains of many famous and powerful monks, the stupa is a major Buddhist shrine as well as the traditional secular symbol of Lao unity. Every year these twin roles are celebrated at the That Luang Festival when Buddhist pilgrims from all over South East Asia join with the people of Vientiane for a week of religious ceremonies and civil revelry around the sacred site.
Boun Ok Phansa" - the final and most important day of Lent- also features an early morning temple ceremony.
 Traditionally, the rocket festival is the sixth Lunar month ceremony that Lao people have conducted  for many generation(s). It is the important symbol of unity and friendship used to fight against dry weather and to request rain.
As in other South-East Asian cultures, music in  Laos can be divided into classical and folk traditions. The classical music is the least interesting, simply because it is so imitative of the classical traditions of Thailand and Cambodia. Lao classical music was originally developed as court music for royal ceremonies and classical dance-drama during the reign of Vientiane's Chao Anou, who had been educated in the Siamese court in Bangkok. The standard ensemble for this genre is the sep nyai and consists of khawng wong (a set of tuned gongs), the ranyaat (a xylophone-like instrument), the khui (bamboo flute) and the pii (a double-reed wind instrument similar to the oboe) - exactly the same instruments are used in the Thai pii-phda! ensemble.
See also
Ha noi
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