the big celebration

Happy Lao New Year!  It’s been quite the week here with all day parties going on everywhere around town, at maximum decibel level.  It’s been fun, and we’ve gotten to be part of some fun and interesting celebrations, though it’s nice to be getting back to normal life, too.  It’s been quite warm this month, so the water fight part of the New Year tradition is pretty refreshing.  We’ve been to 4 different events this week.

Event #1 was a party hosted by our Lao coworkers at a nearby waterfall.  They made Pun Pa, Lao grilled fish in lettuce wraps.

2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-3 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-4 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-6The girls had a great time playing in the water with their friends.  Even before the meal was cleaned up the water came out.  It didn’t take long before everyone was soaked and dancing to blaring Lao music.
2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-5 Event #2 was an all day trip to a Tai Lue village on the river.  The girls and I ended up staying home to recover from event #1. Ryan went along with some friends.  He decided not to bring the camera because of the inevitable water fight so we don’t have any photos of the event.  He was kicking himself later for it, though, because it turned out to be an interesting event as the villagers were preparing things for their annual rocket festival.

2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett

Event #3 was getting up early and going to the wat (temple) to take food to the monks.  We were really interested to see some of the more serious side of the New Year festivities.  We fortunately ended up meeting a friend who was able to guide us through what was going on.  Everyone, especially the ladies were dressed in their best.

2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-7 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-8 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-9 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-10 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-12After giving food to the monks we went to the main temple building where we were given good wishes by a senior monk. 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-13

Event #4 was a baci ceremony at our boss’ house.  In a baci ceremony people tie strings on each others wrists and wish them a prosperous year, good health and things of that nature.  Everyone goes around and says a blessing to their family and friends for the coming year.

2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-14 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-15 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-16 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-18 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-19 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-20 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-21 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-22

2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-17Gotta have loud music at every event! 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-23

And good food, too.2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-28 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-24

Before long, the water blessings got started, and like all the other events this week, ended in big water fights.2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-25 2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-26

At this point I left to take Elise home, as she was getting too tired to enjoy the water fight anymore.2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-27

I heard later that our host pulled out one of the rafts and filled it with water, turning it into a swimming pool. I got these pictures from a coworker.2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-29It wasn’t just the kids who enjoyed it!

During the week we ended up going to just four events.  I was told by someone that he had been to five parties in one day!  I honestly don’t know how people survive the week.2014-04-19 Lao New Years by Melissa Crossett-30

How do you celebrate New Years?

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2 thoughts on “the big celebration”

  1. I like the bit about the string and saying a blessing to family and friends. I also liked the carved watermelon–it was beautiful.

    I’m looking forward to seeing you when you get to back.

    Like

  2. The dresses were beautiful! I wish I could carve a watermelon like that! But then no one would want to eat it! Water fights – really different!

    Like

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