Phra Bang Parade - Luang Prabang

Phra bang Story

Phra Bang, covered with gold leaf, 83 cm high statue,
is the mystical national emblem of the country.

Phra Bang is a sacred Buddha and precious treasure that Laos people respected and worshiped with loyalty and strong faith for a long time.
Phra Bang had been invited to the temple by the first ruler of the Lan Xang Kingdom in 1353 the King of Angkor (Chao Fa Ngum)

Legend whispers of Phra Bang's creation after Lord Buddha's nirvana. Monk Churana Kathera, the ecclesiastic president, crafted the image with a singular hope: to grant the Lord Buddha eternal life.

Before molding the Phra Bang, gold and silver metals were meticulously blended. Upon completion, Lord Churana Kathera made a wish, inviting a Buddha bone to reside within the image, specifically entering the Narad (forehead). This standing Buddha, with hands raised to the Ura (chest) in a gesture of prohibition, mirrored the revered "Phra Pang Harm Yard" worshipped there for nearly a millennium in Sri Lanka.

In 1400, touched by strong faith, King Khamen of Sri Lanka gifted Phra Bang to his dear friend. For 502 years, Phra Bang graced the central temple of Inthapatta until King Paramatha Khamera bestowed it upon his son-in-law, King Fa Ngum. King Fa Ngum had brought the Buddha to be in the city of Chiang Thong in 1353.

In 1705, the Phra Bang was taken to Vientiane. On the same occasion during the following centuries, Phra Bang image was taken to Thailand (Siamese)
In 1778, Vientiane was invaded by Siamese (Thailand) and captured the Phra Bang, taking it back to Bangkok.

After that Siamese political upheaval, they found a lot of misfortune was attributed from the Phra Bang, So in 1782 Phra Bang was returned to the Lao people.

In 1828, the Siamese captured the Phra Bang again and again returned it in 1867 after a similar period of political upheaval.

Since 2006, the Phra Bang has been in one of the rooms of the Royal Palace (which also serves as a museum)

In 2013 the Phra Bang Buddha was moved from the National Museum and brought to Haw Pha Bang on the Royal Palace grounds.

Each year, on the 3rd day of the Lao New Year "Pimai Lao", the Phra Bang takes its place in the courtyard of the Wat Mai Temple to be shown to the population and ritually bathed by devout laypeople during Lao New Year.

Festivities Date and Celebrations:
The Phra Bang parade will paraded out of Haw Prabang to Wat Mai during the morning of the 3rd day of Pimai Lao.

It’s a parade to move the most famous statue of Buddha in Laos, Phra Bang. The name Luang Prabang is also derived from this Buddha statue.

The parade commences at the majestic Royal Palace of Laos. Leading the procession, Phra Bang sits regally in a gilded sedan chair, carried by devoted monks. Hundreds of participants, adorned in costumes inspired by Laotian legends, follow in a colorful display of cultural pride. Their journey culminates at Wat Mai Temple, where shower the statue with fragrant water. Puyer-Yayer will lead fragrant water followed by monks, governments, Miss Luang Prabang, and other participants. This blessed water, considered sacred, is then used to mark the foreheads of parade participants - a gesture of respect for the head as the body's most sacred point. Finally, the blessed water is distributed to be sprinkled over homes, offering protection from evil spirits and blessings for good fortune.

Location of Phra Bang:
Phra Bang is placed in Haw Phra Bang, located in the northeastern corner of the grounds of the Royal Palace Museum, between Royal Palace and Phousi Hill, Sisavangvong Road.