Yesterday October 23rd marked the end of the three month rains retreat, and today was Ok Punsa or the end of Buddhist Lent Day at our local temple Wat Greensboro. The tradition of Buddhist Lent or the annual three-month Rains Retreat known in Laos and Thailand as Punsa, which dated back to the early Buddhism in ancient India. This is the time where monks spent three months of the annual rainy season in permanent dwellings. This is to avoid unnecessary traveling during the period when crops were still new for fear they might accidentally step on young plants. It was believed that in the ancient time, the Lord Buddha left earth for 3 months to visit his mother up in heaven. He wanted to show his gratitude by chanting for her during this Lent period, and the day of Ork Punsa was the day that he returned to earth. All the people came to greet him, as we carried the tradition to this day by gathering at our local temple to celebrate his returned.
The money trees or Tun Phapa were presented to the temple by individuals, this time we had 2 trees and a total of $415.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, according to our Buddhist belief Tuk Badt or Alms giving is believed by many that it’s a Boun (merit making) of life, that they will live a long and healthy life. Below is a picture of items for alms giving.
Today’s Alms giving is called Tuk Badt Tayvo. It’s an old Thai tradition of Alms giving where the Buddhist worshipers would lineup and the monks come by to collect Alms. The line was lead by a Buddha statue, then followed by monks.
A Buddhist worshiper offering alms to an American monk.
The next religious event coming up is Thot Kathin, one of the biggest religious events of the year.
We did this in the Isaan yesterday morning – at 7 a.m. – and I’m not even a Buddhist. But Mrs S and her family are. Mrs S and her daughter (my step daughter) looked beautiful, the event was a great community occassion, and good fun and feelings were experienced by all. Then we came home and went back to bed!
Enjoyed your post.
Wat Greensboro looks very similar to what we have here, although probably it’s rather more affluent.
Hav a nice day, Boonie
Hi Boonie, 7 am is a bit early. In the US, the people start to gather around 9:30 am and the ceremony don’t start until 10 am.
I think the temple here look more pretty from the inside out, I guess just like people. Most Buddhist temples in the US are older home converting into temple and our temple is the same way. This temple is a Khmer/Thai temple, the service is done in Thai and Khmer but there are many Lao worshipers that attend there.
It is always interesting to see your posts Nye. This one tells about a subject I know very little of. It is good to learn .
You have caught the most beautiful color and light in the last image with the good balance between foreground and background.
Hi Carsten, thanks for the feed back. I wasn’t sure about the last photo as the 11 am morning sun was so bright and I see now that photography is very subjective. I’m glad that you find the post interesting, it’s more of who I am and our tradition. 🙂
I so enjoy your posts about various aspects of your life. You’ve crafted a blog that is both tasty and nutritious–no empty calories here. There is always something beautiful to look at. Marigolds in the alms offering, for example. I always depart feeling well-fed.
Hi Gerry, thanks for your kind words of wisdom. I’m happy to hear that I’m able to share the beauty that I saw. 🙂
Thank you for educating me and for providing us with such breathtaking photos. I absolutely love the one with the worshiper and the American Monk.
Hi Geni, thanks. It’s a part of our tradition and I’m glad that we were able to bring it with us. As you can see that the Eastern philosophy is making its way into the Western world.
Nice photos, Nye.
Aon took Jeremy Aaron and Bia to our temple in Paksong; they had a very good time.
Jeffrey, I wish I was in Laos for event such as this. The most festive part during this time of the year is Boun Souang Heua (boat race), and Boun That Luang coming up.
[…] the three-month rains retreat most Buddhist temple held a Kathin Ceremony also known as Thot Kathin where people have a grand […]
[…] recently celebrated Lai Heur Fai Nam, this event takes place right after the End of Buddhist Lent (the three-month rains retreat or Ok Punsa). The event was so closed together with Loy Krathong […]
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