History of the Khun Flower
The Khun Flower is an auspicious symbol of luck in Laos. The flower blooms in April and is most commonly associated with the Boun Pi Mai festival. Boun Pi Mai is the Lao New Year and people pick the Khun flower in the morning, before beginning the festivities of the day. When you visit Laos in April, you are sure to see the yellow Khun flowers everywhere. For many millennia, Khun flowers have played a major role in the celebration of the Lao New Year. Honoring religious symbols that have been around since long before Buddhism came to the country, locals have been using the auspicious flower to bring them luck. Brahmanic beliefs have left a lasting mark on the culture in Laos, and there is no better time to see that than during the three days of celebration of Boun Pi Mai. According to tradition, an ancient spirit takes his leave of this realm during the festival and the flower represents a connection to the spirit.
Why Khun Flower Brings Luck
The Khum brings luck to those who surround themselves with it because it symbolizes new beginnings, cleanliness, happiness, and comfort. Anyone who hangs the Khun flower in their car, motorcycle, home, or place of work, can look forward to a happy and prosperous new year.
How to Use the Khun Flower
The Khum flower is very easy to use. All that is required is to hang it up in strands wherever you can. The beautiful color and sweet smell are the perfect complement to any location. The flower can even be placed inside of a washbasin or bathtub for a more luxurious cleansing experience, complete with a wonderful smell.
How to Identify the Khun Flower
Identifying the Khun flower shouldn’t be a problem as it is everywhere during April. If you are in Laos at any other time of the year, finding a Khun flower could prove to be quite difficult seeing as how it only blooms once a year. To be sure that you have found the auspicious flower, simply look for the vibrant yellow color and stream of flowers draping from the branches above. The color is akin to an aspen leaf when it is changing color for the fall, but appears much lusher. Another tell-tale sign is in the fruits that the Khun flower yields. You should see clusters of small black fruits growing within the blooms.
Interesting and Fun Facts About the Khun Flower
- The Khun Flower is also called the Dok Khun.
- Khun flowers only bloom for a short time each year when they are used to decorate almost everything in Laos.
- Khun flowers have a certain laxative effect when ingested.