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Giving alms

ตักบาตร or "TAK BAT" means giving alms to monks.

Going out for alms
Monks are going out for alms everyday around 5 AM to 6 AM, except during the 3 months' raining season (July to october). They carry their bowl with both hands and close to the belly.
Going out for alms

The monks walk in straight line one by one. The oldest one or the temple abbot leads the monks. The other one follow by seniority age spent in Buddhist community.

Thai women, kneeling, or Thai men, standing, put food inside the monk's bowl. The women cannot touch the monks or his belongings.
Giving alms
Giving alms

As a city, district or village can contain several Buddhist temples, the abbots agree together on the path reserved for each temple.

Giving alms
The monks do not thank for the food as they give opportunity for the laypeople to do good deeds and earn merits.
Giving alms

Going out for alms is called "BIN THA BAT" (บิณฑบาตร).

Alms bowl (บาตร) is the monk's emblem. According to Buddhist rules, it is the only dish that monks can possess.
Giving alms
Giving alms

Traditionaly, the housewife or her youngest daughter are waiting in front of the house. They greet the monks through a "WAI" (ไหว้) and put food inside the bowl.

Giving alms
The monk shall not look at the women, neither thank them. No words are said. If a young novice receives food from his mother, he can bless her.
Giving alms

The monks walk bare foot and shall accept any food given to them.

If the bowl is full, the monk put the lid (ฝาบาตร) on it in order that laypeople can put a few last food offerings on the lid.
Going out for alms
Going out for alms

Traditionaly, rice offered shall be recently cooked rice. People also offer curry dishes, sweets, fruits, flowers, incense sticks...

Going out for alms
Food offered shall always be the best. Giving good allows receiving good deeds and merits.
Going out for alms

Then back to the pagoda, the monks share the received food inside the Buddhist community.

People, who just give alms to monks, can share this offering with deceased ancestors through a small ceremony called "KRUAT NAM" (กรวดน้ำ).
Going out for alms
Going out for alms

This libation allows giving merits to defunct ancestors. Water is put inside the cooking pot and pour down slowly on the right hand forefinger to the soil. So merits go down from the cooking pot through the hand to the earth. The Earth deity "MAE THORANI" (แม่ธรณี) shall give the merits to the right ancestors.

Giving alms
Traditionaly, if a monk bowl falls in front of a hose, it is seen as a bad omen.
Giving alms
Some Thai people give alms everyday but some give alms on specific events such as Buddhist holy days ("WAN PHRA" - วันพระ), birthday and so on... On such occasion, they can request a blessing from the monks.
Giving alms
Giving alms


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