Hmong New Year celebrations. Phonsavan Laos.

Discussion in 'Laos Road Trip Reports' started by Moto-Rex, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Moderator

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    Hmong New Year. Phonsavan Laos.

    I was lucky enough to be in Laos for the Hmong New Year, and one of the best towns to wittiness the celebrations, was in Phonsavan.

    There were a few small activities in the centre of town, but the big show was about 3 km out of town.

    There were a lot of bulls, and I thought they were going to judge them and pick a winner like they do in Australia, but that wasn’t to be the case.
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    There was what you call a natural amphitheatre, which was usually used for a soccer pitch.
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    I couldn’t work why everyone was so far back from the animals.
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    The corporate VIP area.
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    Next thing they bring two bulls in to the arena and it was then I worked out what was going on.
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    The bulls started fighting, and it was pretty gruesome to watch really.
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    These two went at it for about a minute, and when the loser fell to ground he didn’t look in good shape, it wasn’t a pretty sight. After being hit with a stick a few times, he got up and seemed ok.
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    A lot of the bulls didn’t want to fight, or they just had a quick fight then ran away. This was when I realized why everyone was standing back so far, and why I shouldn’t have been right up the front... It’s amazing how fast you can run when there’s a not so happy bull running in your direction.
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    Further up the hill the bull fighting made way for people in search of love.
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    There was a large flat area with a stage up one end, where performers danced and long winded speeches were made.
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    The view from the stage was amazing, it was a sea of umbrellas, and under those umbrellas the Hmong courting rituals were well under way.
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    Some lovey ladies dressed in traditional dress.
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    There were so many different styles, and colours of dress.
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    There was plenty of food, but no beer what so ever.
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    Tin can ally.
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    I left about 2pm, and more and more people were arriving as I left.

    This was really something to see. The photos don’t show just how just how good it was to be there. I think the celebrations went for about three days, well worth checking out if you get the chance.

    Thanks to Davidfl for the info regarding this brilliant event.

    Moto-Rex
     
  2. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Wow, you were a lucky man picking up on that - I wanted to be there too, but had an appointment in Mae Hong Son that I could not cancel.
    That must have been an amazing turn out alright.
    Some of those costumes are absolutely beautiful too with quite a few I have never seen before, some new modern variations, but some traditional ones too! Jurgen & I would have had an absolute field day there!
    ...I really must try & get there next year.

    Loved these...

     
  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

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    Well done, Good Timing indeed!
     
  4. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

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    Nice report, Rex. That's one to put on the too do list. I have never seen the bull fighting before. Not really sure if I want to. Have a safe ride.
     
  5. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

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    Excellent Neil - how lucky are those who leave the bitumen to participate in such events.
     
  6. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

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    Beautiful and colourful ! A festival not to be missed !
     
  7. phuketrichard

    phuketrichard Ol'Timer

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    great report, i want to go next ear!!!
     

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