Lao New Year 

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Photo by Mark McKenna
Pohn Mannorind raises her offerings in a carved om.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Penny Senamaatry peels a green papaya in the grange kitchen.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Oneta Sayavong at the buffet table before lunch.
Photo by Mark McKenna
By 11 a.m., the house is packed with community members taking part in the morning prayer and blessings.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Taking part in the morning prayer.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Monks from Wat Lao Saysettha, a Buddhist temple in Santa Rosa. say the morning prayer. Money is pinned to tree branches in donation.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Photo by Mark McKenna
The crowd prays along with the monks on stage.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Praying during the morning service.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Water is poured into a silver om.
Photo by Mark McKenna
The monks sprinkle water on the kneeling crowd as a blessing.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Oray Phanhsavang waters plants outside with the remaining blessed water.
Photo by Mark McKenna
An offering bowl of bananas, rice and other food for the spirits of loved ones and ancestors.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Von Khounsinavong and his daughter Jazminh with their offering bowls.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Clockwise from left: Maliek Achane, Damon Achane, Ampha Mannorind, Ila May Fishe, Kerry Achane, Daron Achane and Ne’kosha Achane.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Daemond Worasen lined up to make his offering.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Women line up with their offerings after the prayers.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Pohn Goucher makes the New Year offering.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Photo by Mark McKenna
Justin and Tay’vion Smith line up with a bowl of food to feed spirits of family members.
Photo by Mark McKenna
John Worasen, president of the Lao Community Association, immigrated to the U.S. from Laos as a refugee in 1979.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Elders in traditional pei sashes.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Photo by Mark McKenna
Men wearing traditional pei sashes.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Mona and Vidia Vongphachan came from Crescent City for the celebration.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Proud parents took photos of daughters in the Humboldt County Lao Dancers troupe.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Photo ops under the New Year banner.
Photo by Mark McKenna
The monks bless the food and eat from the katoke tables.
Photo by Mark McKenna
The spread of traditional Lao food was home cooked by community members.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Nathan Phetsouphanh plates up Lao cooking he's missed since his mother passed away.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Wild mushrooms and greens.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Dino Caraveo digs into the feast.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Make a donation, spin the wheel, get a number, take a fortune.
Photo by Mark McKenna
The monks tie blessed strings around people's wrists for luck.
Photo by Mark McKenna
A little girl tries her hand at spinning the fortune-telling wheel.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Elders sort and count the donations for the monks so far.
Photo by Mark McKenna
Tina Bravo poses with the paper and ribbon she and her friends made to raise money for next year's celebration.
Photo by Mark McKenna
The youngest members of the Humboldt County Lao Dancers perform traditional dance.
Photo by Mark McKenna
The older girls from the Humboldt County Lao Dancers take on more complicated dances.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
A monk takes a minute to check his phone.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
A packed hall for the morning prayer.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
A sampling of the homemade dishes on a katoke.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Annalise Wignot bringing flowers to the monks.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Attendees put money in a collection for the monks, who do not charge a fee for their visit.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Families line up to make offerings.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Emily Worasen and Lucky Syphanthong make their offerings.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Pryah, Sophia, Samuel, Corey, Nicole and Nancy Phetsouphan and Giovanni Meuangkhoua with offerings ranging from bananas to Keebler cookies.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Alex, Amanda and Nathan Phetsouphanh, and Philly Masiglat.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Mary Worasen, Choua Cha and Jessica Felix.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Sanny Souvanna comes correct in his suit.
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
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Photo by Mark McKenna
Pohn Mannorind raises her offerings in a carved om.

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