Mass Alms Giving with 12,600 Monks in front of Terminal 21 on Saturday

July 6, 2012

Early in the morning of Saturday 7th July 2012, you are invited to join in a mass alms giving taking place on the road at Asok intersection in front of Terminal 21. If you are not a Buddhist, you are still welcome to go to take pictures as long as you act in a respectful way. Most people will be wearing white though it is not compulsory. The event runs from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. If that sounds too early for you, I am sure you won’t miss much even if you turn up at 6:30 a.m. The starting ceremony and chanting usually goes on for an hour before the alms giving begins.

7 Responses to Mass Alms Giving with 12,600 Monks in front of Terminal 21 on Saturday

  1. The Octopus on July 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    If seeing 2000 people give 3 tons of processed junk food for the sole selfish reason of hoping it will make their own lives better to 1,600 men who have shunned life’s daily responsibilities for a life of free food, room and board is your thing then it is quite a spectacle.

    • Richard Barrow on July 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      All of the dried food is sent to southern provinces where it is too dangerous for monks to leave their temples. Other food is donated to poor people. Last year it was given to flood victims. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  2. The Octopus on July 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I didn’t have any questions to begin with. I’m sure that 300 kilos of custard cakes are just what the monks in Yala need in their diet. Although I should point out that having travelled overland from Malaysia through the southern states there were a lot of impostors out every morning in orange robes.

    It is a shame though that Thais need to think they are getting something for themselves in order to donate to poor people. Therevada buddhism at its self centered finest.

    • Richard Barrow on July 7, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Were 300 kilos of custard cakes really donated? I doubt it as it is normal at this kind of event to only offer dried food. Things that will last as everyone knows it won’t be used straight away. I don’t know anything about imposter monks in the deep south. There aren’t that many temples there as the majority of the locals are Muslims. Monks in many temples down there don’t actually go out on alms rounds and the ones that do have soldiers escorting them. Maybe you saw some Chinese monks in the deep south but you would think that it would be dangerous for them as monks have been targeted by the insurgents.

      Anyway, thanks for your comment. I am not a Buddhist myself so I won’t comment any further on the religion of others.

  3. The Octopus on July 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Not only did I see large numbers of said cakes being offered but bizarrely a large number of Lays potato crisps. I’m sure the monks and homeless will enjoy sprinking their potato chip dust on their custard cakes this year. Fantastic foresight from the alms givers.

    You should have seen them throwing the bin liners full of ‘alms’ onto the trucks Richard, I doubt there is much in there that would have survived.

    Anyway as long as the people got to ‘make merit’ for themselves it was all a worthwhile exercise. After all, it is all about ME when it comes to good old Buddhism.

    BTW it has been scientifically proven that a Thai custard cake will show absolutely no signs of degradation over a 30 year period so perhaps they know something I don’t. I wonder if Monks are allowed toothpaste?

    • Richard Barrow on July 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      I agree with you the choice of food is bad. They could have thought better. In the old days, the elders believed to make merit properly you have to prepare the food yourself. These days people are lazy and buy it at shops. They should never give leftovers which I think some people do. Like they were given something that they didn’t like and then passed it on.

      • The Octopus on July 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm

        Exactly. There is no foresight regarding the type of food as they don’t care. They just shove the easiest to buy processed crap in the bowl and then expect to get some merit for themselves in return. Its all about me me me.
        The whole thing was quite a spectacle visually (I was there at 5am) but really when you scratch below the surface the ‘spiritual’ aspect is about as genuine as a $20 Rolex.

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