This article features photos and a video of Tak Bat in Luang Prabang, Laos. Many people come to witness the popular Luang Prabang Alms Giving ceremony, also known as Monks Walk or Feeding of the Monks.
Please be mindful and respectful of this ritual. Please keep in mind that I took great care to not be in the way of the monks or too much of a distraction, in order to present the photos and footage featured here.
I’ve included below a short extract from the travel writing to Luang Prabang to better explain my approach. Also featured are some pictures of Buddhist monks and scenes by the Pak Ou Caves. Thanks.
There’s a faint drizzle and the light of dawn is green and unreal, I walk as in a dream, following the monks. I hope this would not be seen as a sign of disrespect.
The older one leads, the youngest closes.
I follow in silence, recording some of it.
The procession walks away from the city center. There are no more tourists in sight. There I take a few shots, as calmly and unobtrusively as possible.
As we loop back into town, I follow still, and put away my camera.
Taking photos, though condemned, is not the only reason for my discomfort. This can be done, to an extent, respectfully, given sufficient mindfulness and awareness of others’ feelings.
Rather I feel bad about giving in to the lame pleasure of getting some souvenir photos, rather than focusing on a rare moment of communal blessedness.
The very fact that every day, people from all over the city get out of their beds, pack their kneeling mats and carry the baskets of rice they’ve prepared, in order to share their meal with the monks, is special. Special enough that each bit of it should be savored.
For more photos, videos and stories from Luang Prabang, Laos’ Royal city of temples:
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