Thursday, May 23, 2013

Alms Day

    Today is a holy day in the Buddhist world.  Vesakha Bucha, or Vesak Day, is the occasion when Buddhists commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama.  As a part of the holiday tradition, Thais participate in Maha Sangha Dana alms-giving to the monk community.  In Bangkok, this was a massive gathering of 10,000 monks as well as thousands of attendees who dressed in all white.  One of the main roads in town was blocked off for the event, and the gray concrete was blanketed in a sea of saffron robes.  The Dana commenced at dawn with a breakfast of rice followed by a Buddhist ceremony.  As the sunlight began to filter through the skyscrapers, deep chants resonated through the oddly quiet streets.  The Dana ceremony concluded with the monks filing along in a procession like a gilded stream, flanked by attendees who paid their respects and offered alms of food to sustain the monks through the coming monsoon season.

attendees in white
alms bowl
procession with alms bowls
novice monks


No comments:

Post a Comment