This morning saw thousands of Buddhists around the country bringing offerings to make merit at their local temples as Buddhist Lent or Boun Khao Phansa begins. Believers of the Buddhist tradition supply monks and novices with food and other daily necessities, in the hope it will help them concentrate on their meditation and other studies. Why Boun Khao Phansa is such an important event to Buddhist followers? Our news has the atmosphere there.

Every temple around the country was crowded with women of all ages wearing Lao traditional silk skirts combined with colourful silk blouses. Young men wore formal, traditional and stylish clothing. Long tables with aluminum bowls were surrounded by crowds of Buddhists waiting to place sweets, khao tom or sticky rice with minced pork wrapped in a banana leaf, flowers and candles on them.

At 8am senior monks in every temple repeated the five commitments to lay people to encourage them to make merit, and gave them a blessing. After that they were allowed to give alms to the monks, and in every corner of temples believers poured water onto the ground from small bottles to ask Ngamae Thorani, a female earth goddess, to tell the spirits of their relatives to come and receive their offerings.

During Buddhist Lent, which coincides with the rainy season, monks and novices must stay at their monasteries for three months to study the Buddha’s teachings, keep his precepts, meditate and reaffirm their commitment to the Buddhist tradition.

Source: LNTV Lao News in English