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ตักบาตร or "TAK BAT" means giving alms to monks.
Every morning at dawn, monks are going
out to get some food. Thai people fill monk bowl with rice, soft drinks,
cakes and so on... This ceremony is called "TAKBAT". Thai people are making
good deeds ("THAM BUN" - ทำบุญ).
To make the action as good as possible, people must give the best food
they have. They should not be avaricious by giving cheap food. Monks
deserve the best. By offering food to monks, they are supposed to give food
to relatives who died already.
"TAK BAT" ceremony can happen in village but also in temples. In the early
morning Thai people go to the temple and bring food with them. Some people go to listen
the Buddhist Dharma in the main chapel while other are preparing the food.
When the Buddhist sermon is finished, monks go out of the main chapel.
Thai people are queuing and monks are walking smoothly, holding their bowl.
People are filling monks bowl with food. When the bowl is full, a layman empties it
in another big plate and the monk can continue with his bowl.
When Thai people give alms, they need to
remove their shoes. Before pouring the food in the monk bowl, a short
prayer shall be said. While giving food to monks, women shall beware. They
cannot touch monks as they are the symbol of purity. Monks never
say thank you and never look at the people who give food. It is the
tradition. When going out for alms in the early morning, monks
walk bare foot.
When "TAK BAT" ceremony is over, all the food is gathered
on tables. Some laymen finished to prepare the food before the
Then people can start to eat. First monks start to get their food.
They have to take a small portion of each plate. Then the laymen
with white clothes continue.
The men can get food before the women.
Then the nuns. Finally when the nuns have finished to serve
themselves, ordinary laymen and laywomen can get some food.
The scene is less idyllic. No smooth service anymore. Anyway
there is enough food for all.
Such kind of opulent meal doesn't
happen everyday. It may happen wometimes when a layman or laywoman wants to
make good deeds.