October 12th marked the end of the three month rains retreat, and last Sunday we celebrated 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 morning Alms giving is called Tuk Badt Tayvo. It is an old Thai tradition of Alms giving where the Buddhist worshipers would lineup and the monks come by to collect Alms.
The line was led by a Buddha statue, then followed by monks.
The big money tree or Tun Phapa was organized by Mae Tou Gaisorn.
Food offering to the monks.
The money trees were presented to Wat (temple).
In memory of our passed loved ones, we would pour water called Goud Nom Pra Maid Ta to mother earth so she can tell our passed love ones to come and receive their Boun (merit), and in this case it was for our mom.
Like many religions, our Wat (temple) is built by the people and the name of the donors are everywhere.
The Wat persimmons were harvested and sold for $5 per bag, I bought 2 bags.
It was a beautiful Autumn day and we had a good turnout.
I walked around looking for the persimmon on the tree, but I couldn’t find any. They did a good job in harvesting.
Then my sister spotted a few on the tree near the temple.
It looks so good from up there.