Boun Lai Heua Fai in Luang Prabang

Last year, when I saw pictures on how the End of Buddhist Lent was celebrated in Luang Prabang, I was hoping to get a chance to get there once to capture some pictures. So this year, because of the 2 days off for me and an exceptional day off for Hubbie, we too the road (yes, you read it well: the road) to Luang Prabang.

A very short trip, but I came back home with pictures that I am not ready to forget. When I talk about pictures, I mean the ones in my head, which will remind me of a short but romantic (if you know us, you know Hubbie is not a romantic guy – it was a kind of last minute trip like “take your camera, we’re heading to Luang Prabang !”) escape, magical scenes of Luang Prabang, the atmosphere that (almost) only this town will be able to make you feel (despite the crowd).

But before I share the photos of my day in Luang Prabang, here is the story of Boun Lai Heua Fai.


“Once upon a time, the White Crow King and his Queen live in a huge fig tree. They had five eggs, unfortunately, a winsdom blew the eggs into the river and they faded away.

The first egg sailed to King Kukusantho’s territory (the Chicken King), which he took and incubated it.
The second egg sailed to King Coganamano’s territory (the Naga King), which he took and incubated as well.
The third egg sailed to King Kratsapho’s territory (the Turtle King), he also took and incubated it.
The fourth egg sailed to King Cotamo’s territory (the Cow King), likewise he took and incubated it.
The fifth egg sailed to King Rajasi’s territor (the Lion King), who did the same and incubated it.

After hatching, the five eggs became Humanity and when they grew up, they wanted to be the followers of the Lord Buddha and went to priestwood. Then, all of them searched for their parents, but they couldn’t find them so they realized that they had to depend on themselves and didn’t know about each others or that they were related. In that time, the Crow King and his Queen, who were the father and the mother and who live in Heaven, knew immediately that their sons were trying to find them, so they came down on Earth and told the five sons the thruth about how they were the Children of the Crow King and his Queen. Once they knew this, they paid respect to their parents.

Before the Crow King went back to Heaven, the five sons asked the Father to print a foot print on the rock so that they could pay respect to him when they thought of him. The Crow King also made a request and told them they that on every 15th day of the 11th waxing moon (Lunar Calendar), all of the children must spin cotton to look like a Crow’s foot and put it in a bowl or plate and pour oil over it. He asked them to use bamboo to make a boat and put the bowl or the plate on it, then launch it into the river. Afte that, he faded away. The five sons were renamed after the King that took care of them so that people will know Buddha as their name: Kukusantho, Conagamano, Kratsapoh, Cotamo and Rajasi.

That’s the story of Boun Lai Heua Fai, at the end of the Buddhist Lent: we launch  the lightboat into the river to pay respect to our parents, benefactors and also the Lord Buddha.

Source: Department of Information, Culture and Tourism of Luang Prabang Province
Tourism Marketing Division


 

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Lanterns on the gate of a house
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Boat getting ready for the parade
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Homemade Beerlao candles

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Wat Mai

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Wat Sene

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Wat Xieng Thong

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Where did you spend Ork Phansa ?

I saw so many great pictures of the Wat Ongteu and the Mekong with all the Loi ka thong. It must have been a such beautiful night in Vientiane !

 

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