Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Baci- A Lao Tradition

The Baci (pronounced bossy) is a staple of Lao culture. It is a ceremony and party for anything that needs to be blessed: a new house, a baby, a marriage, someone who was in an accident, etc.

First, the family sets up a Baci tree (Mak Beng) made out of marigolds and candles.

Oranges, tamarinds, and other food may be placed at the base of the tree to attract any spirit to come and give blessing. The family then ties strings to the tree and invites a monk to come and bless the strings.

The monk chants for about 30 minutes, then takes a string off of the tree to tie around the wrists of the family members who need blessing. Others are invited to tie strings to their wrists as well.

This Baci was for a new baby girl, so I tied a string on her...

...and Hong tied a string on her grandmother. They leave the strings on as long as possible to receive the maximum amount of blessing. 

Then they dance.

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