The observance of Baci as a spiritual ceremonial event was prevalent in Laos even before Buddhism made inroads into the country. It is also a common heritage in Southeast Asian countries, particularly in Thailand and Laos. This practice is linked to the ancient belief that Baci is invoked religiously to synchronise the effects of 32 organs of the human body considered as kwan (KWA-ang) or spirits or the “components of the soul.” Its observance to establish as social and family bond to maintain “balance and harmony to the individual and community, is done in its original format in Laos, as a substantiation of human existence.
Pick up from your hotel or organize at your hotel for private ceremony. The special event takes place approximately 2-3hours.
The ceremony of Baci is held on any day throughout the year as it is meant to commemorate specific events in an individual's life. It is usually held before noon. The events could be anything related to the human soul – such as a marriage, a success in any endeavour, an annual festival, birth of a child, recovery from sickness, seeking cure for any type of ill health and even to honour visitors and guests of importance. The crux of the ceremony is to invoke the kwan, which in specific terms is explained as.
An ancient belief in Laos that the human being is a union of 32 organs and that the kwan watch over and protect each one of them. It is of the utmost consequence that as many kwan as possible are kept together in the body at any one time. Since all kwan is often the attributed cause of an illness, the baci ceremony calls the kwan or souls from wherever they may be roaming, back to the body, secures them in place, and thus re-establishes equilibrium.
The ceremony is performed by a senior person of the community who has been a Buddhist monk at some stage, and special arrangements are made for the occasion. The practice involves preparing the pah kwan or the flower trays and placing at a central location for people to gather around it in reverential prayers. The pa kwan is normally prepared by the elderly ladies of the household or the community. The paw kwan is elaborately prepared on a silver tray on which a cone or horn made of banana leaves is placed at the centre and is decked with flowers and white cotton and silk threads tied to a bamboo stalk as flags. The decoration with flowers is of different flower types with specific connotation of dok huck (symbol of love), dok sampi (longevity), dok daohuang (cheerfulness/brilliance) and so forth.