Lao New Year at Wat Lao Buddhavong Sala in Catlett, Virginia is a vibrant celebration filled with traditional food, cultural activities, and festive spirit. Located just about an hour’s drive from Washington, DC, the air is filled with the aroma of grilled meat as barbecue pits sizzle with mouth-watering treats. Locals and visitors alike gather to enjoy the scrumptious spread of Lao cuisine, including dishes like sticky rice, papaya salad, and savory grilled meats.

One of the highlights of the event is the presence of sugarcane, which is often enjoyed as a sweet and juicy treat. The daring may also indulge in the infamous durian, a pungent fruit with a distinctive taste. Families come together to celebrate with music, dance, and prayers at the temple, creating a sense of community and joy as they welcome the new year with open arms.

The DC-area event is a colorful and lively showcase of Lao culture, where the aromas of traditional food, the sweetness of sugarcane, and the excitement of durian and barbecue combine to create a memorable experience.