Laos

Boun Khao Phansa or the First Day of Buddhist Lent

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

Boun Khao Phansa or the First Day of Buddhist Lent
Photo by

© Toshihiko KOHNO

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. Every year Boun Khao Pansa festival marks its beginning and both monks and local people follow ancient traditions which can also be joined by tourists.

According to 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 stay in their temples.

Early in the morning of 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.

Things to do in Laos : Boun Khao Phansa or the First Day of Buddhist Lent
Things to do in Laos : Boun Khao Phansa or the First Day of Buddhist Lent
Things to do in Laos : Boun Khao Phansa or the First Day of Buddhist Lent
Things to do in Laos : Boun Khao Phansa or the First Day of Buddhist Lent