Sunday, October 24, 2010

Marking the End of Buddhist Lent

The start of the rainy season in Thailand also marks the start of the monks’ rain retreat or the start of what’s popularly known as “Buddhist Lent.” It’s a three month period when the monks stay on their temple grounds meditating and praying. The monks don’t leave the temple in the mornings to make their rounds, instead the people bring food, candles (to harken back to time before temples had electricity and to provide spiritual illumination) and daily necessities to the temple. 
Ok Phansa Day marks the end of Buddhist Lent and falls on the full moon of the eleventh lunar month - Oct 23 in 2010. In Thailand, the day is marked by thousands of people visiting temples and making vast donations to the monks. 
At Wat Pa in Chandler, about 100 people, Thais and Westerners, brought rice and Thai delicacies to the monks, who led the people in chants and prayers.