Puyer - Yayer Parade - Luang Prabang

Puyer Yayer Parade

Puyer Yayer, the palladium of the city,
guardian spirit, and the symbol of the ancient civilization of the Lao people in Luang Prabang.

Story of Puyer Yayer

Legend claims that long ago, in Thaeng District, a colossal Khao Kat vine blocked the sun's warmth, plunging the land into perpetual darkness and chilling cold. Desperate for a solution, the chief, Khun Bulom, summoned the noblemen to find a way to sever the vine. However, none dared face the daunting task. Not long later, an old husband and wife came to meet the priest Khun Bulom, introducing themselves as Puyer Yayer. They were happy to volunteer to cut the colossal Khao Kat vine. Priest Khun Bu Lom deeply expressed his appreciation to the old couple, who accepted the noble sacrifice for the nation. Before leaving, Puyer Yayer asked that if they died, please ask all the people not to forget their names. Priest Khun Bu Lom and the noblemen promised them this.

Armed with a mighty axe, the old couple ventured into the perilous depths of Nong Tou. It took them three months and three days to finally sever the Khao Kat vine, its fall bringing back the sun's warmth to the land. Tragically, however, the vine's collapse crushed the two heroes, taking their lives instantly.

Though their lives were lost, their sacrifice brought forth a blossoming of life. Plants thrived, animals returned, and hope rekindled in the villagers' hearts. To ensure Puyer Yayer sacrifice would never be forgotten, Khun Bulom commissioned masks and symbols fashioned in their likeness, forever honoring them as the village's guardian angels.

From that day onwards, the Lao people added "Yer" to their words as a constant reminder of their heroes. For example, they use "Pai Yer" (Let's go), "Muea Yer" (Let's go home), and "Ma Yer" (come here).

Every Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year), the villagers bring forth the symbols of Puyer Yayer, alongside the Sing Keo Sing Kham, to join the traditional ceremonies. Before the festivities begin, they carry the sacred symbol of Puyer Yayer from the angel hall to the temple for worship and offerings.
Throughout Pi Mai Lao, the spirit of Puyer Yayer dances alongside the festivities. They invisibly join in all the celebrations, most notably during the Phra Bang Parade, where Puyer Yayer emerges to perform for the joy and happiness of the people they love and protect.
Even today, Puyer Yayer remain revered as guardians of the land, their legend an enduring testament to the enduring power of selflessness and the willingness to help others.