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Boun Khao Phansa or the First Day of Buddhist Lent 2021

It can be a very calming and peaceful experience to join the Lao people in temples on the first day of Buddhist Lent

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Buddhist Lent is a special three-month-long period which starts on the full moon in July and ends on the full moon in October. The beginning of the Buddhist Lent is widely celebrated in South-East Asia, including Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia. Every year Boun Khao Pansa festival marks its beginning and both monks and local people follow ancient traditions which can also be joined by numerous tourists.

According to an ancient legend, monks didn't stop their wandering even during the rainy season which caused complaints about people trampling rice fields and damaging seedlings. As a result, Buddha forbade monks to wander during this time and instead made them stay in their temples.

Ban Sieou, Louangphabang Province, Laos 2020
Ban Sieou, Louangphabang Province, Laos
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Early in the morning on the first day of Boun Khao Phansa, people gather food—rice, bananas, kaoton, and some necessities like soap and toothpaste. They bring all these goods and other donations to the temples and listen to Buddhist teachings and receive blessings as a reward. In the evening, monks and their novices carry flowers and candles around the central temple three times.

Ban Sieou, Louangphabang, Laos 2020
Ban Sieou, Louangphabang, Laos
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Boun Khao Pansa in Louangphabang Province, Laos 2020
Boun Khao Pansa in Louangphabang Province, Laos
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Boun Khao Pansa offerings in Louangphabang Province, Laos 2020
Boun Khao Pansa offerings in Louangphabang Province, Laos
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