Chinese Lahu People Celebrate Thanksgiving Day

By Lucien Hu, October 13, 2017 08:10 AM

Lahu Christians enjoyed food before Banli Church on their Thanksgiving Day.

On September 21, 2017, more than a thousand Lahu Christians from Lancang County and Menglian County in Yunnan Province dedicated their harvest to God in Banli Church located in Lancang County, Pu'er, Yunnan. 

Their thanksgiving day is observed when Lahu Christians receive their firstfruits every autumn. 

From the teachings in Exodus 23:14-19, the ethnic minority believers bring the firstfruits of the field to the holy temple and offer them to the Lord. 

The offerings include various kinds of pumpkins, peanuts, the first rice reaped after autumn, fresh scallions,  ginger, cucumbers, and other vegetables. 

 

Believers brought their firstborns of field crops to Banli Church on Sept 21, 2017.
Believers bring their firstfruits to Banli Church on Sept 21, 2017.

 

After the dedication, believers killed pigs and chickens and cleaned vegetables to make a meal. 

Then a preacher led the congregation to thank God for His providence in the past year and pray to Him to keep peace in Christ in the new year. 

After the prayer, they enjoyed the "love feast" that had rice, pumpkin and pork ribs soup, meat, and cold dishes. 

 

"Love feast": some Dai people also ate supper.

 

In addition, maize branches were placed around the church's pulpit and scallions and ginger were hung at the windows on two sides for the thanksgiving day service to be held the next day. 

After the supper, they began to sing hymns and dance to worship God at nightfall. The praise and worship lasted until 1 a.m. 

 

Lahu Christians danced.
Lahu Christians danced.

 

Non-Christian Dai locals were also invited to join in the celebration and they also performed dances. 

Different from traditional praise and worship, Lahu women danced while the men sang hymns. They spoke and sang in the Lahu language.  

- Translated by Karen Luo

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