A bright sunny morning smiled upon thousands of people in every corner of the country busy making merit at their temples for the celebration of the Horkhaopadapdin festival.
Despite it being a work day for most, residents got up early at between 3-5 am to take their Horkhao to the temple or place it around their house.
With only the light from candles, people prayed for deceased relatives to accept their gifts.
Every year Lao people celebrate the Horkhoapadapdin festival to remember their deceased ancestors and request that the guardians of hell release them and other spirits so they can come to eat the food being offered.
People believe that if they do not give an offering, then they will not have success in work or business.
This special occasion always takes place during Buddhist lent (after Khao Phan Sa) during the ninth month of the Buddhist calendar.0
At 7 in the morning every temple nationwide was crowded with older and young women wearing traditional Lao skirts, combined with silk blouses and colourful sashes. Young men wore formal but stylish clothing.
Their faces were demonstrative of happiness, as they carried silver bowls with offerings to the temple grounds.
You could see long-ranks of believers waiting to deliver offerings of sweets, khao tom, flowers and candles to a long- table with several silver, gold and aluminium bowls.
At 8 am, a senior monk in each local temple reminded attendees of five Buddhist precepts and encouraged them to make merit.
After that they were allowed to give alms directly to monks, as they believed these offerings will go to their specific relative spirits
Those people who did not have to attend work early were able to sit on the Sala (where monks and novices eat food) to listen to the legend of Khaopadadin festival.
Sharing a breakfast together after monks and novices eat is also a way of building solidarity amongst the community.
A resident of Saphanthong village, Ms Yuphin, said she always went to the temple on this occasion every year, because it is important to remember her relatives who had passed away in an attempt to hasten their rebirth towards achieving eventual enlightenment.She said she got up early to prepare her offering of candy, khaotom, candles and sticky rice to ensure happiness and good health.
In the evening, at 7-8 pm, candlelit processions take place in temple grounds.
At that time, monks and lay believers proceed around the Sim three times to mark the conclusion of the Khaopadadin festival.
Updated : 11-11-2010 08:11:25
Source : Vientiane Times