Luang Prabang Power promotes cultural preservation in World Heritage Town

08/12/2023 20:47
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KPL (KPL) Demonstrating a profound commitment to cultural preservation and community involvement, Luang Prabang Power Company Limited (LPCL) has co-hosted an ancient Kathin ceremony in Luang Prabang, a town honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(KPL) Demonstrating a profound commitment to cultural preservation and community involvement, Luang Prabang Power Company Limited (LPCL) has co-hosted an ancient Kathin ceremony in Luang Prabang, a town honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This initiative, part of the company's broader efforts to uphold local traditions and engage key community figures, signifies a substantial contribution to the sustainable restoration of Wat Longkhoun Srikhounnaram in Chomphet district, Luang Prabang Province. 

The Kathin ceremony, a revered annual event at Wat Longkhoun Srikhounnaram, saw participation from Luang Prabang Power Company Limited (LPCL) alongside Ms. Bua Phan Duangduen, the owner of a renowned pharmacy in the heart of Luang Prabang. This collaboration underscores the company's dedication to supporting not only the physical restoration of Wat Longkhoun but also the spiritual values of the Luang Prabang community.

The Kathin ceremony this time was conducted to perform the consecration rituals at Wat Longkhoun, including the ubosot, the dhamma practice hall, and the permanent artifacts. This is a great opportunity for both Lao and Thai Buddhists to contribute to the preservation of world heritage, maintaining its beauty in accordance with the standards of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In addition, there is also participation in the transmission of Buddhist teachings through traditional Kathin ceremonies, along with support for the conservation of cultural traditions within the ancient capital city of Luang Prabang to endure over time.

Phra Sombath Somepanno, Abbot of Wat Longkhoun Srikhounnaram, expressed that Wat Longkhoun holds a significant place in the Buddhist heritage of Luang Prabang, and it fills the people of Laos from various regions with pride.

The temple has a deep historical connection with Laos, and the monastic community, along with the lay followers, is dedicated to developing Wat Longkhoun into a beautiful and culturally rich Buddhist heritage site.

Wat Longkhoun 

The ongoing restoration efforts, initiated in 2022, encompass both the temple's premises and its priceless ancient architecture, with the support and active participation of the local Buddhist community.  Additionally, the Kathin theme for this year's merit-making is centered around ancient traditions. The ceremonial spinning implements used for merit-making will be traditional weaving tools made from natural fibers.

As part of the benefits derived from this year's Kathin ceremony, the temple has outlined plans for the redevelopment of its premises, focusing on seven key areas: 1.) Construction of walls and fencing around the temple; 2.) Relocation of the kitchen away from the area near the road; 3.) Internal pathway improvements; 4.) Increase in the number of trees; 5.) Additional land acquisition for the construction of a meditation hall and accommodations with a dining area for practitioners; 6.) Construction of a boundary fence around the monk's residence area and 7.) Installation of entrance gates to the temple. These efforts are integral to maintaining the temple's status as a World Heritage Site, adhering to UNESCO's standards.

Wat Longkhoun 

Beyond the physical improvements to the temple and its ancient architecture, there are plans for the propagation of Buddhism through three specific projects: The first is regular meditation sessions for the local community and youth on weekends. The second is a summer novitiate programme. And the third is a specific of ethical and moral values among young women, encouraging activities within homes, temples, communities, schools, and government entities. This initiative aims to utilize leisure time during school breaks for the beneficial study of ethical principles, which can be applied in daily life.

Wat Longkhoun, also known as a Wat Longkhoun Srikhounnaram, was established in 1791 during the reign of King Anouvong. It received monastic consecration in 1869. The overall design of Wat Longkhoun showcases exquisite mural paintings on the walls, while the front entrance features depictions of two Chinese warriors believed to protect the temple's resident monks from malevolent spirits. Historically, the temple played a crucial role in preparing the Lan Xang King before ascending to the throne. Prospective rulers were required to ordain and observe a period of monkhood at this temple for seven days.

Wat Longkhoun is registered as a cultural world heritage site, and the restoration project has received approval from UNESCO. The national and local world heritage committees have provided attentive support, assistance, and oversight to ensure that the temple's reconstruction adheres to UNESCO standards throughout the process.

 Kathin Palace 

A representative of Luang Prabang Power Company Limited (LPCL) said that the company and its employees are honored to have participated in the revered spiritual giving ceremony at Wat Longkhoun. Our involvement in this ancient tradition not only signifies our commitment to cultural preservation but also underscores our dedication to the enduring legacy of Luang Prabang. As a company deeply rooted in this historical city, we are proud to contribute not just during the almsgiving ceremony but to continuously support the local community in safeguarding the architectural marvels, traditions, and cultural heritage that make Luang Prabang a timeless treasure.

A group photo of representative of Luang Prabang Power Company Limited