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It was the final day of the Lehu New Year, the giving of gifts, ceremonial washing of hands, top

spinning ball throwing, firing of guns, shooting of fire crackers and feasting had finished. Ca-Fa called his son-in-law Ca-Leh into the house. Together they knelt before the altar which had held offerings of rice cake, pork, bananas and bees wax candles. Ca-Fa said the final prayer of the New Year Ceremony: “Oh, Lord of the New Year and Lord of the Months, in Majesty far superior to us, this morning we remove the rice cake altar. Grant us the blessing of one years work in the field providing food for ten days. Open to us the blessing of having many people in the house and much livestock under the house. Clothe us with the blessing of an untroubled heart, and grant us an undisturbed mind. Next year at the New Year festival we will again bring offerings and sacrifices to you. The Lahu are a people permeated with the desire for blessings. They long for the blessing of good health, enough to eat, security for their families and peace in their hearts. Their term for blessing is BON, or AW BON, which is borrowed from the Thai term BOON (Merit). The area of meaning of the Lahu term BON is broader than the Thai BOON. For instance, AW BON CAW means ‘To have value’, ‘bon te’ “blessing/ Merit Ceremony”, ‘bon law’ or ‘bon ku’ “to pray”; ‘bon na’ “to bless”; ‘bon ma da’ is ”bad luck”; ‘bon ma’ is “to preach”. The Lahu often refer to themselves as bon va, which literally means “the children of blessing”. In their prayers they speak of bon ca “seek blessings”. All Lahu - regardless of their sub-group or religion – are deeply concerned with and constantly striving for blessing.

It was the final day of the Lehu New Year, the giving of gifts, ceremonial washing of hands, top spinning ball throwing, firing of guns, shooting of fire crackers and feasting had finished. Ca-Fa called his son-in-law Ca-Leh into the house. Together they knelt before the altar which had held offerings of rice cake, pork, bananas and bees wax candles. Ca-Fa said the final prayer of the New Year Ceremony: “Oh, Lord of the New Year and Lord of the Months, in Majesty far superior to us, this morning we remove the rice cake altar. Grant us the blessing of one years work in the field providing food for ten days. Open to us the blessing of having many people in the house and much livestock under the house. Clothe us with the blessing of an untroubled heart, and grant us an undisturbed mind. Next year at the New Year festival we will again bring offerings and sacrifices to you. The Lahu are a people permeated with the desire for blessings. They long for the blessing of good health, enough to eat, security for their families and peace in their hearts. Their term for blessing is BON, or AW BON, which is borrowed from the Thai term BOON (Merit). The area of meaning of the Lahu term BON is broader than the Thai BOON. For instance, AW BON CAW means ‘To have value’, ‘bon te’ “blessing/ Merit Ceremony”, ‘bon law’ or ‘bon ku’ “to pray”; ‘bon na’ “to bless”; ‘bon ma da’ is ”bad luck”; ‘bon ma’ is “to preach”. The Lahu often refer to themselves as bon va, which literally means “the children of blessing”. In their prayers they speak of bon ca “seek blessings”. All Lahu - regardless of their sub-group or religion – are deeply concerned with and constantly striving for blessing.