Happy New Year!

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, December 14, 2012

A bit early you may be thinking.  But it's the Hmong New Year.  There are many different tribes of people in Laos.  Many have been isolated in their remote mountainous regions living lives quite unaffected by westernization for some time creating some interesting cultures and traditions.  However, a lot of the traditional dress has been traded in for more western styles now.  But at this time of year, the young people dress again in this garb and engage in some traditions. 

We spent the day driving from Phonsavan to Luang Prabang on some of the windiest roads I've ever encountered.  Impossible to rest as you're being tossed around and impossible to read.  I just sat trying to keep my breakfast down.  If only I'd succeeded...

In between bouts of motion sickness, I was very pleased to see some children wearing this fabulous clothing and head dresses and playing some traditional games

This celebration typically lasts for about 7 days and comes about at the end of the rice harvest, so it can be at different times for different clans.  A type of Thanksgiving involving family groups, traditional dress, dancing and food.  A big party so to speak.  I also saw some adolescents engaging in a game of POV POB which is where a line of girls and a line of boys toss balls to one another.  If the ball is missed by one of the pair, a personal ornament is given and received with the singing of a love song (or playing it on your ipod).  A dating ritual where you toss the ball to someone you like and hope that they catch it to return the sentiment.

Please note, most of this info I gathered online and neither are the photos mine.  I was just interested in finding out a little bit more about what I was seeing. 
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