Lahu New Year 2015 - Soppong

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A sweet chilly 3 nighter in Soppong (or PangMapha) at the Soppong River Inn to check out Lahu (& Lisu New Year.)

    The masterplan was to rock up a day early & pick up on the early morning Lahu spirit ceremonies that I had never seen.

    Be here at first light - sunrise I was told by the villagers!
    Sunrise - first light was about 6-6.15AM I reckoned & would be damn cold with temps around 8-10 celsius. So, yeah yeah I thought, I know how you guys operate, probably more like 7am something might happen. I could lay in bed a bit longer maybe.
    I was in bed early, full clothed to be ready to go at first light. You have to get up otherwise you're defeating the purpose of the early arrival so I convinced myself.

    AND it was cold! 8 Celsius.

    The first light at the Pang Mapha viewpoint

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    I cruised on down into Lahu Luk Khao Larm, half expecting the place to be still asleep, but nope the village was a hive of activity.

    Dam Hua was the ceremony & each household has to pay respect to other household elders.
    Villagers were rushing around everywhere, from house to house.

    And indeed it was a bit of a non stop frenzy going on....People were coming out of every nook & cranny I thought.....

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    For some it was easier to do the rounds by motorbike

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    More to come
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    So how goes the dam hua ritual

    The hands of the house elder are washed by the visitors

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    then a blessing is given to the visitors

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    The house elder is given items
    pork
    tea
    sticky rice
    a leaf?

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    the offerings are stored in baskets to the side

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    then its off again, more gifts & more hands cleansing

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    Offerings

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    Water

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    It's done at a fast pace, non stop house to house & I found it hard to keep up with what was going on, who was going where.

    Meanwhile the kids hung out in the playground letting off firecrackers.

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    Not everyone is impressed maybe

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    More to come...
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    In the evening there's dancing around a "spirit mound."

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    a candle is lit & kept burning throughout the night.

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    Everyone joins in & dances away, going round in a circle.

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    It's cold & elders keep small fires burning beside the dance floor to keep warm.

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    The candle burns down & a new one is lit

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    The dancing & night goes on

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    Lahu New Year is held in February or March every year.
    This year it seemed to coincide with Chinese New Year.

    Some other Lahu New Year Reports on GTR here
    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/34174-Lahu-new-year-2011

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/30409-Lahu-New-Year-Luk-Khao-Larm-2009

    http://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/35795-Lahu-New-Year-28-Jan-2012

    Cheers. I hope you enjoyed the scene. It was a lot of fun for me.
     
  5. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    This is an excellent report David into the culturally enriching experiences that are available to those living in northern Thailand (willing to rise early though not necessarily go to bed fully clothed!)

    A well documented pictorial account makes for a precious historical record of the event - in addition to hill-tribe life & the colour surrounding these people, you have managed to capture the joy & sincerity of those participating adding greatly to the reader's enjoyment of the report.

    Get back out there reporting young man!
     
  6. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    brilliant stuff david thankyou
     
  7. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Going to these festivals is a great part of riding in the North.

    Great photos David.

    Moto-Rex
     

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