Laos is rich in tradition and customs, which involves many significant ceremonies related to religion and belief. House warming is one of those beliefs, which has become a part of their life and been practiced from generation to generation. The purpose is to bring good luck, fortune, happiness and prosperity to the new house and households and also to offer thanks to the spirit of land where the house is based.
As a house is considered central of a family’s happiness, it very well prepared for the ceremony after it has been built completely. There will be three main parts to the ceremony, starting with the choosing the auspicious day it will occur, the procession around the house and the baci ceremony in the house. There will be only elders or an ex-monk who is able to select for the date (called Mor phone), who can foretell a good day. Which they believe that selection the auspicious day will bring the family happiness and enhance them to transition smoothly into the new house. A waxing moon is the most auspicious day for the ceremony. After knowing the date, on that early morning, the house’s owners and relatives will gather in front of the new house at approximately 4.00 or 5.00am carrying a valued cloth bag and daily household items and walk round the house three times before entering, each round they pass the main front door, there will be an old person pretending to be the spirit of land, sitting inside, and asks them where they are from, which the head of the group will answer his/her question that they are from a rich city, with valuables such as gold, silver and jewelry and ask the old person to allow them in the house. Until the last round (third round) they are allowed to in. After get into the house the group will sit and pray their best wishes in the bedroom and the house leader (father) will hang the bag with valuablethings on the wall next to the head of bed. After that, is continues with the Bacci ceremony which is held at around 10:00 - 11:00 am, then people who attend the ceremony bless household, by tying white cotton string on their wrists and finally it is time for everyone to have lunch together and enjoy drinking, singing and dancing. The party will most probably last until early evening of the day, which depends on the financial condition of the house’s owner.
Due to the fact that house warming has become a part of their way of life, the house warming ceremony will be held in any family who has settled in their own house, whether it is small or big house. They cannot miss any part of the process. It is not only for Lao to join the event but widely opened for any who interest to join. Therefore, it is a good chance and experiences for tourists to join-in while in Laos.