Swing ceremony

The Swing Ceremony

            September is the day that all plants are growing and they are ready to be harvested in the near future. There is the last time for weeding out in the field and wait for the harvest time which is as same as Chor Lar Bar Lar in Akha’s month.  The Swing Ceremony is not only the value ceremony but it is also related with Akha’s life style. The history of the Swing Rite: this is called “Yair Khoo Ar Pew” which is held at the end of August until the beginning of September: the origin of swing playing was from  “Ja Dare Long” now is China . There were the leaders named “Kha Bar, Ar Pew, Mhor Loh, Loh Seu” and “Khor Bor Ar Pew Eaw Kor Kor Kong”. They were the respectable leaders for Akha and they said that there was The Swing Ceremony for 33 days in “Jar Dare”.
        Then, everyone in this area both the rich and the poor had to prepare the food for celebrating in the festival. This is the history of swing playing festival. This rite is very important for women; therefore, they will dress properly by their ornaments and stuffs which are prepared all year. The dresses show that they are getting older. They are playing the swing and singing the song alone and in pairs. This rite is held for celebrating the plants which are going to be harvested. According to the proverb “Khoo Jar Mhar Boh Mhar Bo” means there are various foods and the richness in The Swing Ceremony. If there is no Swing Rite, there must not be others neither.

After this ceremony is done, there is no more perennial plants are cut for using in the community. However, there is one exception for it; there must be someone in the village dead. During this time is also known as the Akha’s lent because during the ceremony is also the rainy season. In case that there is no rain in any year, it is not good for Akha because it effete to their plants.
It takes 4 days for this ceremony:

The first day:
The beginning of Jar Bear ceremony, Akha women have to wear their dresses which are full of the ornaments and stuff. They have to go to the holy well and get some water for using in the rite. Akha call “E Joo E Saw” which is the sacrifice for their dead ancestors of each family. Akha would not let men to get that water because they think that it is women’s work and they pound rice called “Hor Tong” in the mortar.
Hor Tong is rice which is pestle into the tiny pieces. The rice is soaked for a night in water and steams it. After it is cooked for 2 times, the tiny pieces of sesame and salt are mixed with the prepared rice. There is also the ceremony for forming “Hor Tong” as well.

The second day

The day that everyone come over to Jew Ma’s; the religious leader for asking about the suggestions and they are assigned the work for the swing construction of the community; the big one or it is called “Lar Cher”. There is no other rite and the animals will not be killed this day. After the big swing is constructed, “Jew Ma” is a person who forms the rite and he is a first person who plays the swing. After his turn, everyone can do their turns. Next, they have to build the small swing at their places for their kids. This rite is over when each family done their own swings.

The third day:

Wan Lor Da Ar Pew”, it is the biggest ceremony day. There is the celebration in every family. The old men or the guests from other village are invited for the party in the village. The old men will bless the people who invite them to succeed in every aspect in their future’s life.

The fourth day:

The last day for the ceremony “Jar Sar”, there is nothing to do in this day because it is the last day for playing swing in a year. However, around 6 p.m., the religious leader keeps the robe and ties it up with the swing. It means the atmosphere for this rite is gone. After dinner, they will clear all the sacrificed things up. It shows the last moment of this ceremony.