Laotian New Year Festival, Wat Thammarattanaram, Lanexang Village, LA

Easter weekend is when the local Lao community celebrates their New Year festival. Laos, Thais, Cambodians, and certain tribal peoples of Vietnam and North China don’t celebrate the same Lunar New Year as the rest of Asia; instead they observe it when the sun transits the first sign of the zodiac, in the spring.

I went last year but the temple’s ordination hall wasn’t finished, and it looked like it was going to be gorgeous so I made sure to drop by this year and get some photos. Southeast Asian Buddhism is very blingy–rather like Catholicism, actually!

I recently had a pen friend who lives in Denver tell me she could never live in a small town because they’re not multicultural enough. (And for chrissake, Denver isn’t exactly NYC or Los Angeles–or Houston or Atlanta, for that matter.) I’ve noticed that a lot of people who know fuck-all about small towns and rural areas (particularly southern ones) like to make a lot of idiotic assumptions about them, and our supposed lack of multiculturalism is on the top of the list.


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