“The Lao Baci ceremony is a communal spiritual practice in which we call back those kwan or souls from wherever they might have been roaming. The silk or cotton strings which we ceremonially tie around eachother’s wrists in an act of blessing represent that securing of unity and restoration of equilibrum. The knot is the embodiment of the reconnection ith the scattered self””
– Birds Follow Spring FB page
Since you are in Laos, you’ve probably already attended at least one Baci soukhouane. Many occasions call for a baci: a birth, a new house, a wedding. And, as we know Lao people love partying, it is always followed by celebrating with loud music and beer flow.
Below, my best Baci memories.
For a birthday. This was on the occasion of the first birthday of a nephew. This little boy get so spoiled with a thousands of cotton strings when he – I can bet – couldn’t even realize what was happening around him.
On Pimay 2016, we went to my Husband’s village to celebrate with his family and Villagers. That was one of my first in the remote areas and, when most of Vientianers purchase everything, this time, the cotton strings were carefully prepared months ago by my mother-in-law, so was the Khao poon (not months ago 🙂 but carefully prepared).
Wishing good luck to a traveller. Before he was sent to China for stydiying, a cousin’s parents organized him a Baci to wish him good luck and success for this new challenges. Mixing excitement to a new chapter and fear from the parents to see their son leaving home, this Baci was one of the most emotional.
Nowadays, men still go on a pilgrimage. Most of the time, they do it before they get married and they will do it so their parents can receive boun.
My husband did it during all the Phansa, the Buddhist Lent that lasts around 3 months. Of course, every man is free to choose the duration of it, it goes from 2 weeks to months.
The latest, but not the last, I attended was on the occasion of… my wedding. You can certainly imagine it was emotional, but only friends and family can turn tears to laughters.
You, what is your best Baci memory ?