6th DECEMBER 2017 ~ The daily routine of giving alms to the barefooted Buddhist monks clad in their orange robes very early in the morning has forced many visitors to wake up even before the sun rises just to witness the event. We were already wide awake by 5:00 a.m. and then at about 5:30 a.m. we heard drums being beaten from far away. We went to the main road near to the hotel and by that time, there were already people on the streets. Generous donors were already seated by the roadside while entrepreneurs were busy looking for prospect buyers to the packets of snacks that would be surrendered to the monks.
Not long after that, the monks arrived - walking in one straight line and they stopped in front of the people who put their alms in the containers the monks were carrying.
There were many groups of monks, and most probably they belonged to different monasteries there. They came from different directions and walked away quickly once they received the alms. I could see that most of the monks were young boys but each group was led by someone who looked more elderly.
There was a group of young foreigner who were there to join in the alms giving ceremony, rather than just observing.
If you wonder, what was given to the monks, surprisingly people donated snacks that could be bought from the street vendors but there were also other food items. However, that does not mean the monks eat all the snacks and that does not happen as all of them looked really slim and fit. I read somewhere, the items given would then be sold back to the shops and the monasteries would get their money. But correct me if I am wrong.
On the last day of my stay in Luang Prabang, I managed to witness this ceremony nearer and clearer when I went to the market place.
"Kindness in words creates confidence,
kindness in thinking creates profoundness,
kindness in giving creates love."
~ Lao Tzu ~
TO BE CONTINUED...