Lahu New Year 2015 - Soppong

DavidFL

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Jan 16, 2003
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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





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.....























For some it was easier to do the rounds by motorbike



More to come
 

DavidFL

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So how goes the dam hua ritual

The hands of the house elder are washed by the visitors



then a blessing is given to the visitors





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





the offerings are stored in baskets to the side



then its off again, more gifts & more hands cleansing



Offerings





Water





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.











Not everyone is impressed maybe




More to come...
 

DavidFL

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



a candle is lit & kept burning throughout the night.





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











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





The candle burns down & a new one is lit



The dancing & night goes on





















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
https://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/34174-Lahu-new-year-2011

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

https://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.
 

Rod Page

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Jan 7, 2010
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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!
 

Moto-Rex

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Jan 5, 2008
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Going to these festivals is a great part of riding in the North.

Great photos David.

Moto-Rex