Photographer's Note

Tak Bat or morning alms is a living Buddhist tradition and an important aspect of the Lao culture which has become a tourist attraction on the must see/do list of Luang Prabang. The ritual of alms-giving ceremony 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 kneeling on the floor, or seated on low stools, as most of them (including locals and tourists) do these days.

Alms giving takes place beginning on the main street of Luang Prabang before spreading out to all the side streets. The idea of the alms giving is for the Buddhist monks to collect food for their one meal of a day. 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. However, tourists are discouraged from buying food from enterprising vendors who are more concerned about profit than quality and hygiene. The rice is inedible, and tourists are charged an exorbitant price.

The 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. The better shots would be at the end of the route and not on the main street, as these are mostly crowded with people and ‘paparazzis’. There are just the locals there, and the line of monks becomes less dispersed as they slow down in their walk. The atmosphere felt here is also less touristy.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: May Mah (mayjayne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 376 W: 23 N: 1119] (7204)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2017-04-02
  • Categories: Ceremony
  • Camera: Nikon D800E
  • Exposure: 1/21 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2017-04-05 22:34
Viewed: 1056
Points: 24
  • None
Additional Photos by May Mah (mayjayne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 376 W: 23 N: 1119] (7204)
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