Once upon a time, there was a belief in Laos that a human being is a union of thirty-two organs, each has a special spirit to protect them. Nowadays, Laos people still count on these spirits often wander outside the body which causing unbalance of the soul and might lead to an illness. This is also the original reason to the birth of one famous festival in Laos so-called Baci. Coming to Baci, visitors cannot forget spiritual feelings and wish for good luck, happiness and prosperity in the event of calling back all these souls in harmony by string tying. Let’s explore this unique culture of century-old tradition and beguiling Southeast Asia destination
On important events and occasions, such as New Year, births and marriages, departures, returns, , entering the monkhood, welcoming new guests…Baci has become a national custom to celebrate. For instance, a mother and her new born baby are given a Baci, after the mother has recovered, to welcome the baby as well as to call back the spirits of the mother’s that might be wandering away through the child baring. A special thread tied to each one’s wrist is symbol of peace, harmony, good fortune, good health and human warmth and community.
During the Baci ceremony, a thread of silk or cotton is tied on the right hand wrist of the individual who is being wished for well-being and good luck The thread is worn by an individual normally for a minimum of three days and is untied thereafter in which white symbolizes purity, red expresses bravery, yellow represents faith and black shares a person’s loss or grief. Each color matches each occasion, however, white and yellow string are used more often. The Baci procession finishes when everyone has tied the strings around or when the white string has run out. At the end of the ceremony, a feast of food is offered to all guests, with bowls of rice wine. This is usually followed by Laos traditional dance and music.
Baci is believed to enhance the spirit and reinforce the harmony of the whole family members after having been through sad time. The ceremony as a string tied all people in family, raise their belief in life and bring new luck for all year round. With Baci festival, Laos has something more to offer… a hospitality, warmth and peace that will survive for good in traveller’s heart.
Travellers can experience the “Baci” ceremony in both Vientiane and Luangprabang with local people or at pagoda. Normally, this ceremony will be held at communal house with many villagers come and join together. At pagoda, the leader monk will do this ceremony. The atmostphere of the ceremony will help travellers to feel the sacred meaning of the spirit of the ceremony.