A traditional Buddhist blessing ceremony was held yesterday to mark the opening of the Laos-China Railway and ensure its successful operation.
The ceremony took place at Vientiane Station in Xay Village, Xaythany District, yesterday, and included a chant by 13 monks, led by the Acting President of the Buddhist Fellowship Organisation of Laos, the Most Venerable Maha Bounma Simmaphom.
The event was attended by the Prime Minister of Laos, Dr. Phankham Viphavanh, as well as high-level officials, devout Buddhists, and other invited guests.
The chant, led by Ven. Maha Bounma Simmaphom, was to expel misfortune and bad luck, while calling for good luck, prosperity, and happiness to be bestowed upon the railway, the trains, and its operators.
The Prime Minister, on behalf of the government’s representatives, lit incense during the religious ceremony in homage to the triple gems of Buddhism, followed by striking a gong nine times for good luck before performing other religious rites to ensure the prosperity of the railway in line with Buddhist belief.
Following the ceremony, the Prime Minister led officials in distributing food and offerings to the monks, who then blessed the participants.
The rituals performed are of great religious significance, and are believed to ensure the success of the Laos-China Railway in all areas.
Construction of the historic railway linking the Lao capital of Vientiane to the Chinese border over a distance of 427 km began in December 2016, linking five provinces including Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Vientiane Province, and Vientiane Capital.
It is due to officially open after an opening ceremony held later today.