• Short Summary

    LUANG PRABAND, THE ROYAL CAPITAL OF NORTHERN LAOS, CELEBRATED THE LUNAR NEW YEAR LAST WEEK.?

  • Description

    LUANG PRABAND, THE ROYAL CAPITAL OF NORTHERN LAOS, CELEBRATED THE LUNAR NEW YEAR LAST WEEK. THE FESTIVITIES ARE CLOSELY WOVEN WITH TRADITIONS CONCERNING THE PURIFICATION OF THE SOUL AND HOPES FOR A FRUITFUL FUTURE.

    WHILE MANY OF THE FESTIVITIES CARRY THE TRAPPINGS OF WHAT WESTERN EYES COULD ONLY REGARD AS CARNIVAL, THESE COLOURFUL DECORATION EMBODY RELIGIOUS RITUALS OF GREAT ANTIQUITY. EARLY IN THE MORNING OF THE 'PIMAI' FESTIVAL THE MARKET, LITTLE CHANGED FROM ITS DAILY EXTERIOR, PLAYS A VITAL PART IN THE CEREMONIES. FOR IT IS HERE THAT CITIZENS BUY THE FOOD SPECIALLY RESERVED FOR THE FESTIVAL, AND HERE THAT THE TKE GIRLS PURCHASE THE SMALL BIRDS WHICH, WHEN RELEASED FROM THEIR CAGES, WILL CARRY AWAY THE SINS OF THE OLD YEAR.

    LATER IN THE DAY COMES THE PROCESSION FROM THE SACRED WATTHAT PAGODA, WHERE IS HOUSED THE GOLDEN STATUE OF BUDDHA, SOURCE OF THE PURIFYING WATER IN WHICH WORSHIPPERS PERFORM THEIR RELIGIOUS WASHINGS. SPORTING THEIR NATIONAL DRESS, THE PEOPLE CARRY AMONG THEM A BUDDHIST PRIEST, KEEPER OF THE GOLDEN STATUE. MUCH OF THE PROCESSION CENTRES AROUND THE TRADITIONAL PIMARI DANCE OF POUGNEU NAGNEU - CITIZENS EAGERLY ADOPTING THE ROLES OF THE MOTHER AND FATHER LAOS, AND ENTERING WITH ZEST INTO THE RITUAL SEARCH FOR THE LEGENDARY LION.

    FINALLY, ON THE SANDBANKS OF THE MEKONG RIVER, THE WORSHIPPERS BUILD THE SANDCASTLES, ENSURING THEIR GOOD FORTUNE FOR THE FUTURE. THEN TOO, THE LADIES LEND A RATHER TOO ENTHUSIASTIC HAND IN FREEING THEIR MENFOLD FROM THE SINS OF THE PAST, PROVIDING A SPLENDID EXCUSE FOR TEARING THE SHIRTS FROM THEIR BACKS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACWM0X2N4X7R5T1PODB5AUHF06
    Media URN:
    VLVACWM0X2N4X7R5T1PODB5AUHF06
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/04/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:53:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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