Martyr's Day and Wrist Tying Celebration in Ballina, Co Mayo

Margaret Clarke
Wed 31st August 11 12:28 pm

Karen people and their friends in Ballina and Castlebar commemorated Martyr's Day and had a wrist tying ceremony at the Family Resource Centre in Ballina County Mayo. The Karen people of Mayo remembered the death of KNU leader Saw Ba U Gyi, who was killed in an ambush by the Burmese Army on the 12th of August 1950, with wreaths and flowers presented by the young people of the community.

The wrist tying ceremony followed and it is rooted in ancestral beliefs in spirits and known as lah ku kee su in the Karen language. Traditionally the festival takes place at the time of the August full moon, when people tie white threads around the wrists to ward off illness and to contribute to the continuation of Karen culture. The yearly ritual gives elders the chance to pass on the language, customs and traditions to the youth. The event was a joyous occasion with singing, dancing and delicious food to enjoy and eveyone looked wonderful in traditional dress.

dancers

dancing

dancing

martyrs day

Martyrs Day

Martyrs Day

Singers

Singers

dancing

wrist tying

wrist tying

wrist tying

Karen Flag

Martyrs Day

Sharing stories

wrist tying

wrist tying

wrist tying

blessing

wrist tying

 

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