Buddhism, Community, Cultural, Lao Tradition

Buddha House Blessing to Ring in the Lao New Year

Today being Good Friday, most people in the South have a day off, it’s one of our (very few) paid holidays. When I left work on Thursday, one of my co-workers wished me a Happy Chinese New Year.  Lao New Year I corrected her.  It must be very confusing since I recently celebrated Chinese New Year back in January of this year, but I do have to say that Lao New Year is one of my favorites New Year celebrations.

I’ve never officially wrote in any of my posts about the State that I live in, as far as the Lao-American populations, we didn’t make it to the top 5.  According to the 2005 American Community Survey estimation of the Lao-American populations, the top 5 states were California (63,318), Texas (12,643), Minnesota (11,636), Washington (10,638), and Iowa (6,129).  Our State, North Carolina came in at number 6 of 5,854 Lao people, to read more.

Lao Ladies

Lao Lady

Lao Ladies

Sorry, I only took pictures of the ladies, the guys are a bit shy, or might be me that didn’t dare ask them.

Many of us living in America are still following the Lao tradition when it comes to Lao New Year celebration such as attending the festive event at the Buddhist temple.  I think this one is extra, I’m very fortunate to attend a Buddha House Blessing this morning, this is to bless the house, the people that live there, the passed loved ones, and also to ring in the Lao New Year.

Lao ceremony

Traditional morning Almsgiving or Lao people called it Tuk Badt.  I would not be surprised to see my picture somewhere, as you can see that the young novice monk has captured our picture with his latest digital camera.

Almsgiving

I looked forward to this event, especially the food, one of my all time favorites… the dessert.

Lao/Thai desert

The ladies were busy in the kitchen preparing food for the monks, and some for us.

Food for monks

Lao food

Lao noodle aka Kao Poon

Spicy papaya salad, aka Tum Maak Houng

Lao fish soup, aka Ur Pa

Lao mixed vegetable soup

Spicy beef, aka Larp

This one is Duran Sticky Rice.  If you’re not familiar with Duran fruit, you might turn your nose.  It is after all considered the King of all stinky Tropical fruit.

Duran sticky rice

Lots of food as you can see, it is then offered to the monks.

food offered to monks

The monks then tie blessing rope for New Year blessing, and most of us might have only seen the white rope use in Baci ceremony, such as in Lao Traditional Wedding, but in special occasion such as New Year, other colors are being used as well, such as yellow or orange.

Monks tied blessing rope

And lovely Lao girls.

Lao girls

Lao girl

Next is Lao New Year on Suday, I can’t wait to take more pictures.

21 thoughts on “Buddha House Blessing to Ring in the Lao New Year”

    1. lady0fdarkness, thanks. When Lao people have a get together, there are plenty of food for sure. The food was exceptionally good, the homeowner is the owner of a Thai restaurant.

    1. Hi Irene, as for Buddhism, most if not all ceremonies perform by monks or layman require candle wick, but as for article of clothing, the Buddhist believe that we can give items to our passed loved ones to be used in the spiritual world, and that’s why we give article of clothing. The donor can then get this article of clothing back by making a donation to the temple to get the item back, I hope this is the same ceremony that we’re talking about, here is a post that is similar to what you’re talking about.

      As the the many candles twisted together in this post, they’re candles that measure the family bodies, such as around the head, neck to bellybutton (I can’t remember if there is more, another one might be arm length) and they’re twisted together, then burned during the ceremony. I think this is to bless the family.

      1. Yes, my mom did this for us on Lao New Year. She seem to do this often and she also makes these long candles with pure beeswax. It requires patience to make a nice one.

        We measure 3 places with these long beeswax candle. Around the head (circumference), from the neck to belly button, and finally from the elbow to the index finger.

        And like you said, the candles are twisted together. Then the Buddhas light the candles. They will chant and pray for us until the candles burn out.

        1. Thanks Salat, the last time I had it done was at my mom’s Boun 100 Vanh and we had to do that. I’ve many sisters, in laws, nieces and nephews, so our bundle was large, but I didn’t realize that you can do it every year, it’s good to know.

  1. Laap moo, Som tum, Kao Phoun All my favorites……….. yum. Thanks for sharing those pictures. Tha’s what I had this weekends. Next weekends I am going some more at wat lao at D.C hope they have Kao Lum and ping gai.

    1. Hi Salalao, I’d love to visit Wat Lao Buddhavong on Lao New Year but it’s too far for me. 😦 But lucky you, and have fun.

  2. Look at all them food. They all look so yummy. How many monks were there?
    Now why does a monk need a camera for. Maybe he want to capture the image of beautiful Nye Ginger?

    1. Ainoo, there were 4 monks there, I also noticed that food offering to the monks in the US is more than food offering in Laos.

      And that’s not a very nice thing to say about the monk, I think someone is getting his butt kick for sure this time….and you might have to change your name to Aiyar!

      1. I always feel uncomfortable when the Buddha takes out the digital camera. Or worse, when they start talking on the cell phone while other Buddhas are chanting.

        Thankfully I’ve not seen that kind of behavior in a while. 🙂

  3. Hi, Nye Ginger.

    The papaya salad look so mouth watering. Have you ever tried it with eggplant and string bean? I had it like that for the first time and it was sooo good.

    1. Hi Ainoo, that’s how I fix my tum maak houng during the summer time when the string beans and Thai eggplants are in season. It tastes good, and I like it a lot, but I can’t say that everyone would like it, it’s different, you either like it or hate it.

  4. In the very first dessert picture, what’s the white dessert with the coconut topping called? And do you know how to make it or where I could find somewhere that could tell me how to make it. I love eating it, but I don’t even know what it’s called!

      1. thanks! that would be awesome!! I really do love them and so does my mom. Every time we see them at the asian store or during the new year celebrations, we always buy them!

  5. Darn those dessert photos! Haha, it’s only 9am and you’ve got me thinking about desserts 😀

    And honestly, I’ve never had any Durian sticky rice. Actually make that, I’m not a big fan of durian and my only time trying it was in Bangkok when I didn’t think of the smell.

    1. Hi Will, dessert is one of my favorites, notice I posted the dessert picture first.

      The one that I ate, the smell was not that bad, I’m wondering if it’s the new breed that doesn’t smell stinky like duran but more like banana. One of my favorite desserts is Mango sticky rice, I don’t really care for the Duran, mainly because of the stinky smell.

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