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Thaiiland: Children from Fr Ray Home mark Buddhist Lent

Children bring presents to temple

Children bring presents to temple

Buddhist Lent is the time each year when monks stay in their temples and devote their time to study and meditation. For three months during the rainy season in Thailand,  the monks will only leave their temples to make their usual alms collecting each morning.

The start of Buddhist Lent falls on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. Each year, children from the Father Ray Children’s Home in Pattaya, Thaliand, run by the Redemptorist Fathers, visit their local temple to offer alms to the abbot and his monks.

As well as offering food, candles are also given to create light, in the belief that the light will illuminate the mind. These candles are usually very large, sometimes standing taller than a man, and beautifully carved, and some towns throughout the Kingdom hold special ceremonies, parading huge candles on floats.

Devout Buddhists, like many Christians, will fast for the three months, abstaining from alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate or their favourite food, and in three months time when the Lent period is over there will be parties throughout the Kingdom.

For more information see: www.thaichildrenstrust.org.uk/