National Day in Laos
In the Southeast Asian country of Laos, the 2nd of December is celebrated as Lao National Day. This public holiday commemorates the establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on this date in 1975. Since this is a public holiday, it’s a non-working day for most people, and it’s a day on which most schools, businesses, and government offices are closed.
Although this holiday is celebrated on December 2nd most years, there are some years when it’s observed on another day. During years in which the holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday is moved to the following Monday so that residents don’t lose their day off from work.
The History of National Day in Laos
The Lao people were an ethnic group in what is now known as Laos and are an offshoot of the Tai peoples who had established a powerful kingdom by the 8th century. Prior to and for most of the 20th century, Laos was a French Protectorate.
Over the years, the local population’s resistance to French rule began to intensify. This led to the founding of the Pathet Lao resistance organization by the Indochinese Communist Party. The resistance would lead to the First Indochina War, and it eventually led to Laos gaining independence as a constitutional monarchy in 1953.
Laos would become a communist republic in 1975 when the Pathet Lao overthrew the royalist Lao government and forced the king to abdicate. This event was aided by both North Vietnam and the Soviet Union.
Observing National Day in Laos
This holiday is observed with special events all across Laos, but the main bulk of the celebrations occur in Vientiane, the country’s capital. These events take place at the Pha That Luang Temple, at Patuxay Monument Park, and the Presidential Palace. Events include fairs, concerts, parades, and large gatherings of people.