Alms giving ceremony, ritual where the monks of Luang Prabang leave their temples at dawn to collect alms from the faithful

Alms giving Ceremony in Luang Prabang

One of the most sacred Buddhist traditions of Laos is the alms giving ceremony. Better known by its English name giving alms, alms-giving ceremony is a ritual practiced by the monks every morning where collected alms on the part of the Lao population and also tourists.



The Alms giving Ceremony


The ritual of alms-giving ceremony (popularly known by their names in English giving alms, sai bat and tak bat) is a ceremony that takes place all day at dawn where the monks in the city of Luang Prabang out of their temples, barefoot, dressed in their colorful robes oranges, to collect alms in the form of offerings of rice on the part of devotees waiting monks kneeling on the floor.


Luang Prabang giving of alms
Luang Prabang giving of alms

Hundreds of monks leave 35 temples of Luang Prabang in the early hours of the morning in total silence and barefoot to walk the streets in Indian row and collect the offerings of the faithful.
The monks, with their distinctive dress Orange, they carry a metal vessel hung as a shoulder bag go where keeping the offerings of the faithful.

Alms giving - Luang Prabang
Alms giving - Luang Prabang

The devotees await the start of the ceremony on their knees either sitting on the floor. The offerings of alms-giving ceremony is generally food (glutinous rice mostly), although they are also delivered another kind of offerings such as biscuits, fruit, etc.

Alms giving ceremony - Luang Prabang
Alms giving ceremony - Luang Prabang

The monks who make up the ritual of the ceremony of alms, pass one by one in front of the devotees and the faithful at the same time, delivered the offerings with their own hands by inserting food inside the metal container that the monks carry. The monks will feed during the day with food that devotees have been delivered during the ceremony of alms (giving alms).

Alms giving Ceremony - Luang Prabang - Laos
Alms giving Ceremony - Luang Prabang - Laos


Recommendations and tips for Alms giving Ceremony


Although alms-giving ceremony is a great tourist attraction of Luang Prabang is not made for tourists, i.e. it is a solemn ritual and completely authentic where both monks as faithful continue a centuries-old tradition in which firmly believe.

Alms giving Ceremony - Luang Prabang
Alms giving Ceremony - Luang Prabang

Alms-giving ceremony is not limited to the laosian population, i.e. anyone can participate but we give the same advice we receive: you do not participate in alms-giving ceremony unless it means something for ti. Many street vendors encourage tourists to buy glutinous rice bowls for offering to the monks, and even some hostels offer to participate in the ceremony of alms giving as part of a cultural tour, however it is not.

Alms giving Ceremony - Laos
Alms giving Ceremony - Laos

The basic rules of the perfect tourist in Alms giving Ceremony are:
  • Observe the ritual from a distance
  • Wear a properly (shoulders, torso, and legs must be covered)
  • Do not touch the monks
  • silent
  • Do not use the flash
  • Disconnect the mobile phone
If you want to participate in the ceremony of alms buys rice in any of the markets of Luang Prabang, for example in the daytime market that settles in the alleys of the Wat Mai temple, Instead of buying the offerings from street vendors.

Alms giving Ceremony at Wat Mai
Alms giving Ceremony at Wat Mai



Where the Alms giving Ceremony is held


Luang Prabang, Laos, alms-giving ceremony held in the 35 temples of the city. One of the best venues to witness the ceremony of alms is the Wat Mai temple, due to its location in the historic centre, the street that passes the ceremony is also wide and Wat Mai is one of the most popular and venerable Luang Prabang's temples.

Giving alms Wat Mai - Luang Prabang
Giving alms Wat Mai - Luang Prabang

Alms-giving ceremony begins with the exit of monks from the Temple Wat Mai, located on the street Sisavangvong road, surrounding Wat Mai through the surrounding streets and later the monks end the ceremony once again returning to the temple Wat Mai.



What time the Alms giving Ceremony is held


Luang Prabang alms-giving ceremony takes place daily to the < b itemprop = "openingHoursSpecification" //schema itemtype = "http://schema.org/OpeningHoursSpecification" > 6:00 in the morning, lasting approximately 15 minutes. The monks are very punctual and to show respect, we recommend there be 15 minutes prior.

Video for Alms giving Ceremony


Here you have a small video - summary of the Alms giving Ceremony in front of the temple Wat Mai.


Video of the Alms giving Ceremony - Luang Prabang - Laos

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