Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thai Cooking And "Spirit Dance" The Soul of Lanna.

The Day Begins
at "Libra Guest House"
  Last week I went to Libra Guest house and mention about "The Spirit Dance" a celeabration near my home. Spirit is an important part of the Lanna people in the north of Thailand. People believe that spirit can brings fertility and peace to everyday life.
Our school is not only teaching Thai cooking but also an experience of culture and beliefs of the people of Lanna (Chiangmai, northern Thailand)
 I am very happy that many people joined me for this special day! because this only happens once in a year!
 Today was a very special day !! We started the day by picking everybody up from the Libra Guesthouses, and everybody had a chance to choose from our menu what would they like to cook.    

Then we went to the local market "Sam Yaek Market" time for Learning about Thai herb and fresh ingrdients.


 After the local market, we walked to the local temple near our home
"Wat Muang khorn" where "The ceremony of mounting the gable-final"  took place and we got to see how the Buddhist celebrated.



Walking to the house of ceremony where "Spirit Dance"

On the way to the house of ceremony
we walked by some mint green rice fileds.


Here we are !!

Spirit” is an important part of Lanna / people from the north of Thailands, culture. People believe that spirit can brings fertility, and peace to everyday life. Living people usually request spirit’s power, especially from their own ancestors’ spirit - called “Pee Mod Pee Meng”, to help protect their family. Sometimes they also believe that spirit can even cure illness or make a weak person to get better. Once they receive help from spirit, Lanna people will hold a ceremony to return the favors called “Fon Pee” (Spirit Dance).
After the harvest period during March and April when people are free from farming, they will gather to hold a big ceremony, the Fon Pee. These events will be held for two days. The first day is called “Wan Kaw” (Announce day) which is the day that news will be spread among relatives in order to have them gather at one house to prepare for the ceremony, while the second day will be the real ceremony when there will be sacrifice dance and communication with spirits.

On the preparation day, relatives and neighbors will construct small pavilion, called “Pham”, made from dry coconut leaves, dry grass or banana leaves. Pham will be well decorated and many foods will be offered to spirits. On that day the oldest woman in the family, called “Kao Pee”, will worship ancestor spirits and invite them to Pham.

After that spirit will synchronize with living and the ceremony will begin. People who synchronize with spirit usually will not know what they did during that day, for older people the length of synchronization will be much longer than younger one. They will continue dancing all day until the ceremony end. Finally, all relatives will pull down Pham, clean the area and later have dinner together. “Fon Pee” or spirit dance is one of the very old traditions of Thai northern people, one of the most cherishes culture that Lanna people try to conserve and treasure it forever.



Picking fresh ingredients from our organic garden.

Now We Can Cook!!

Demonstrateing how to cook "Pad Thai" and how to cook by using a wok!

Break time!! 
We celebrated just like a local today! We tried a local drink "Lao khao", before we have this one, we were looking for another one it's "Sato" a sweet Thai rice wine but sold out ! so we get different one and not a strong alcohol as "Sato"
What is your favourite part about travelling? Have you ever tried rice wine? How would you describe the flavour?


We Cook & Eat, Cook & Eat and Cook & Eat!!


Finally!! everyone enjoying thier own food.
I  would say "what a fantastic day" Thank you very much for joing us at
"Thai Secret Cooking School"
 When you buy your flight to Thailand it is your direct ticket
to experiencing Thai culture.