» Country? Thailand.
» In a few words, what is the idea? A very special experience in the early morning. Observe the strong ties of the monks with the community of faithful and participate if you wish. It’s definitely worth getting up early!
» Duration? 30 minutes.
» For whom? Travellers wanting to soak up the country’s Buddhist atmosphere, to observe real life, to get to know Thai people a bit.
» Where? The accommodation should be not far from a Buddhist monastery.
» When? All year long.
There is always something special in the early morning ambience, still in the dark.
Depending on the situation, it can cause a certain feeling of unease, although in this case, what you are about to watch is fascinatingly enveloped in a captivating atmosphere of intimacy.
In the early hours of each morning the monks go out barefoot from Buddhist monasteries to ask the public for the provisions they need to live.
It is a moment of singular devotion that illustrates the close bond between ordained monks and the lay community of believers.
You can join the Thais and make your own offering or simply observe the scene, without disturbing. In the first case, ask some Thai for help, for example, from the staff at your accommodation.
Begging is part of their lifestyle and whilst in practical terms, it covers a basic need, and it also has the symbolic value related to poverty, humility and indifference to material goods.
Their vows require them to eat in “moderation”, the bare minimum to sustain themselves without endangering their health.
They lead a somewhat solitary life, although the other monks from their community surround them.
They live austerely with just a few belongings: a couple of tunics, their begging bowl, a knife, a sewing needle and a pair of sandals.
We suggest you get up early to witness this moment of pure devotion in the intimate atmosphere of the night and the first light of dawn when everything begins to stir.