The town of Luang Prabang - on the bank of the Mekong in Laos -is not only a royal capital, but also the religious capital of the country.
LS Street in Luang Prabang
MLS Buddhist monk in procession
MS People pouring water on his feet
MS "Adam & Eve" in procession
LS Procession R/V
CU People pouring water over priests' feet
LS Procession T/V
MLS Buddhist monk at temple
MS "Adam & Eve"
CU Ditto - bowing
MLS Buddhist monks and crowd
CU "Adam & Eve"
LS Chasing crowd
Initials EHR/V/MR/EHR/RP EHR/V/MR/RP
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Background: The town of Luang Prabang - on the bank of the Mekong in Laos -is not only a royal capital, but also the religious capital of the country. The King is the head of Buddhism, the most practised and official religion.
Recently, Luang Prabang celebrated the Buddhist New Year in a more colourful and religious manner than other towns in Laos. The Chief Buddhist priest of the royal capital rode on a palanquin to the main temple in the capital (Wat Xieng Thong). People lined the route to throw scented water over the feet of the monk. In Laos, water throwing is common. It is for good luck, and also as a mark of respect.
Joining the monk's procession were the Adam and Eve of Laotian mythology.... Pou Ngeu (Adam) and Nga Gneu (Eve), the original humans, were covered with long hair. They were supposed to have been born of lotus, the sacred flower of Buddhists.
As they danced - through the streets, people crowded round to pick hairs off them. The theory is that if any of these "original people" touch anyone, that person falls sick. But if a hair of these people is worn on the wrist of a sick person he becomes well again. Adam and Eve, too, are quite religious; and so to the temple for prayers and to bow before the Buddha. And sometimes they join in a game of chase.