Chao Anouvong Statue Celebrations Vientiane Laos
Culture & festivals Expat-life Laos Vientiane

Chao Anouvong Statue Celebration, Vientiane, Laos

A little paragraph in The Vientiane Times newspaper caught my eye – Chao Anouvong Statue Celebration to be held on Saturday 11 November 2017.  Loving a good ceremony (or two!), I headed downtown to Chao Anouvong Park to see what was happening around Vientiane’s most famous statue.

Chao Anouvong Statue Vientiane Laos Celebration 2017

The impressive statue of King Anouvong is the centre piece of Chao Anouvong park and is located on the Mekong River in central Vientiane.  According to Tourism Laos, the statue was created in 2010 as part of Vientiane’s 450th Anniversary in order to commemorate the King’s contribution to Vientiane during his reign.  Chao Anouvong was the last monarch of the Kingdom of Vientiane and is greatly revered by all Lao people for his heroism in combating the Siamese invasion of Vientiane in 1826-1828.  During this conflict, King Anouvong was unfortunately captured and forced to surrender and the Kingdom of Vientiane ceased to exist after this defeat.

The bronze statue itself is impressive in its size and it is visible for quite some distance with the King facing away from the city, looking over the Mekong towards Thailand.  He is dressed in military regalia, holding a sword in his left hand and extending his right hand as if offering a greeting to the Thai people.

Chao Anouvong Statue Vientiane Laos Chao Anouvong Park

Chao Anouvong Statue looks imposingly over the Mekong River towards neighbouring Thailand

Surrounding the base of Chao Anouvong Statue are many ritualistic offerings of flowers, fruit, candles and incense.  You will also see many horses and elephants of different sizes and these are placed here for the land guardians (spirits or “phi”) to use for transportation in the afterlife.

Chao Anouvong Statue Celebration Vientiane Laos

On this particular day, the Vientiane and Chanthabouly Districts invited everyone to celebrate the 7th anniversary of the Chao Anouvong statue by making merit. This involved traditional music, a blessing by monks chanting Buddhist versus and the chance for devotees to make merit.  Following the ceremony, the Districts provided free food and drinks for worshippers to celebrate.

Chao Anouvong Statue Vientiane Laos Traditional Music

Young Lao girls preparing to perform traditional Lao music at the Chao Anouvong Statue Celebration

Chao Anouvong Statue Vientiane Laos Traditional Music

Chao Anouvong Statue Ceremony Vientiane Laos

Chao Anouvong Statue Ceremony Vientiane Laos Monks

Senior Monks chant Buddhist pali versus to bless the statue and devotees

Chao Anouvong Statue Blessing Ceremony 2017

Holy statues wrapped in sacred white cloth and basi string receiving blessings from the Monks at the Chao Anouvong Statue Ceremony 2017

Chao Anouvong Statue Vientiane Laos Celebration Festival

The festivities continue with the local government providing refreshments for worshippers 

 

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