Monday, October 5, 2009

Phra That Renu and the Phu Thai minority

Nakhon Renu is home to the Phra That Renu and to the Phu Thai minority group, which traditionally settled along the Mekong River and its tributaries. Phu Thai people preserved their unique tradition of the Baci ceremony.

Definition: "Briefly the Baci is a ceremony to celebrate a special event, whether a marriage, a homecoming, a welcome, a birth, or one of the annual festivals. A mother is given a baci after she has recovered form a birth, the sick are given bacis to facilitate a cure, officials are honored by bacis, and novice monks are wished luck with a baci before entering the temple. The Baci ceremony can take place any day of the week and all year long, preferably before noon or before sunset. [...]”. (Lao Heritage Foundation)

Phra That Renu is located within the compound of Wat That Renu. The 35 meter high That Renu is an imitation of the famous Phra That Phanom, which is located further south along the Mekong River. From Phra That Renu to Phra That Phanom it is approximately 40 km. Phra That Renu was built in 1918. The stupa itself houses the Buddhist Tipitaka - the three divisions of the Buddhist Canon, consisting of gold and silver Buddha images, some other precious items and regalia of local noblemen.

Wat That Renu can be reached from highway 212, and the following the road 2105 for another 7 kilometers.

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