It is a spiritual time of renewal and blessing. During this time, people visit seven to nine temples to pray and bathe Buddha images with water perfumed with flowers. In Laos, Pi Mai, or New Year, is the most fervently celebrated event of the year. It is a time when the entire country stops working and begins to party – only three days are official public holidays, but most Lao take the whole week off. Citizens remove Buddha images from the temples in order to clean them with scented water, and then take to the streets to douse one another – an act of cleansing and purification in anticipation of the end of the dry season.