4+ Cool Lao Superstitions For Every Traveler

lao superstitions

You’re eagerly anticipating your upcoming trip to Laos, a land of breathtaking landscapes, warm smiles, and rich culture. But you’re left wondering: “How do I navigate the labyrinth of Lao superstitions?” In this article, we’ll not only delve into the captivating world of Lao superstitions but also provide you with some handy Lao words and phrases to charm the locals. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be equipped with cultural insights that will make your trip to Laos unforgettable.

The Role Of Superstitions In Lao Culture

Lao superstitions shape everything from birth rituals to farming practices and even the design of a new house or family’s home of Laotian people. In Laos, superstitions aren’t merely about avoiding black cats or walking under ladders; they’re about maintaining harmony with nature and the spirit world. We’ll explore how these beliefs influence the choices and actions of the people and how they create a unique, vibrant tapestry of customs and traditions.

baby wrapped in green blanket and bonnet smiling in his sleep

Lao Superstitions Unveiled

Here are some of the most fascinating Lao superstitions:

Sharing Of Sticky Rice

It’s believed that sharing this food can strengthen bonds between individuals. Before cooking, soaking sticky rice in water placed in a sticky rice container is customary. It’s a belief rooted in the desire for prosperity.

Offerings In Funerals

Laos funerals are marked by a series of rituals and Lao customs that are meant to guide ancestor spirits safely to the afterlife. They often involve offerings of food, incense, and prayers.

Baby Smiles In Their Sleep

In Lao culture, it’s believed that when a baby smiles in their sleep, which is visible in the baby’s cheeks, they’re having a conversation with a spirit from the beyond. The baby’s laughter is seen as a sign of good fortune and protection.

Seeing Future Husband

For young Lao women seeking to learn about their future husbands, placing threads under their pillow while they sleep can lead to dreaming of the man they’ll marry.

Deceased Relatives As Guardians

Lowland Lao people and ethnic groups believe that deceased relatives continue to watch over and protect the living.

Bad Omen When You Lose Hair

In Lao culture, finding strands of your hair on the ground or in your food is considered a bad omen. It’s believed that losing hair in such a manner can make your life horrible or even signal an impending tragedy. At the same time, some believe that if you find hair on your plate or ground, it’s bad luck.

Odd Child Shows Signs From The Spirits

In Lao folklore, an “odd child” refers to a child who possesses unusual characteristics. These odd thing traits are often seen as signs that the child is spiritually gifted (they can become a Buddhist monk) or has a special connection with the spirit houses.

Bird Crap As Good Luck

Another popular belief among Khmer superstitions is bird droppings landing on a person, or their belongings are seen as a sign of good luck. It’s believed that it carries a positive message from other spirits from the spirit house and can bring about good fortune.

Dog Howls As Warning

In Lao superstition, the howling of a dog is often seen as a foreboding omen. It signals the presence of malevolent spirits or impending misfortune. According to the locals, the howling of a dog is also believed to be a sign that someone is nearby who has recently died.

Snake Means Transformation

In Buddhist tradition, the shedding of a snake’s skin in human sight is believed to represent renewal and the cyclical nature of life. As such, it is often seen as a symbol of change and transformation. The snake is also said to represent wisdom and enlightenment, which makes it an ideal symbol for those who are striving for personal growth or spiritual development.

A Seat For Spirits

Ever wondered why there are empty spots when visiting traditional Lao gatherings? In Lao traditions, a wooden bench is often seen as seats for spirits. It’s customary to leave an empty spot on a bench, especially during gatherings or ceremonies, to accommodate the unseen spirit from the spirit world.

A Symbol Of Abundance And Blessings

Ever wondered why most Lao homes have figurines that are seemingly like banana leaves? Well, banana leaves actually hold a special place in Lao traditions as symbols of abundance and blessings. They are often used as decorative elements during festivals and ceremonies.

What Jewellery Means

In Lao culture, the jewelry a person wears can carry deep symbolism and significance. The type of jewelry, its design, and the materials used are believed to convey messages about the wearer’s social status, and personal beliefs.

snake shedding skin

Language Learning through Superstitions

Learning about Lao superstitions isn’t just a captivating cultural exploration but a fantastic way to enhance your language skills. Here’s a table of 15 Lao words and phrases related to superstitions and culture:

EnglishLao ScriptPronunciation
Sticky Riceເຂົ້າຫນ້ຽ (Khao Niew)Cow-now
Future Husbandເດັກນ້ອຍເຮັດ (Dek Noy Het)Deck Noi Het
Deceased Relativesພຣະມະນຸດ (Phra Ma Nut)Prah Ma Newt
Odd Childລູຍອັດ (Lui Ot)Loo-ee Oht
Noodle Dishesຜັກແພ່ນ (Phak Phan)Pahk Phahn
Bird Crapເສັ້ນແຂວງ (San Khaeng)San Keng
Dog Howlsເຜັດບັ້ງ (Pet Bang)Pet Bawng
Laos Funeralsບີບດີບົວ (Bi Dee Bua)Bee Dee Bwah
Lose Hairລວຍເສີດ (Luy Seut)Loo-ee Soot
White Cotton Stringsສ້ອຍສີສັງ (Soi Si Sang)Soy See Sahng

Discover More Lao Words And Phrases with Ling

Are you captivated by the fascinating world of Lao superstitions and culture? Do you find yourself eager to delve deeper into the Lao language and connect even more with the warm-hearted people of Laos? Well, I’ve got fantastic news for you!

Meet Ling, your ultimate language-learning companion. Ling is a dynamic and user-friendly language-learning application that you can easily download from the Play Store or App Store. Whether you’re a beginner looking to grasp the basics or an experienced learner seeking to hone your skills, Ling has got you covered.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to unlock the linguistic charm of Lao and embark on a journey of discovery with Ling. It is the must-try app that will take your language learning to new heights. Don’t miss out!

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