Photo Favorite: Morning Alms Collection by Buddhist Monks

By Mark Wiens 10 Comments
Collecting Alms
Collecting Alms

Location: Luang Prabang, Laos

In Theravada Buddhism, monks collect daily alms of food. In the early morning they set off walking barefoot around town to collect food in their large bowls.

People stand by the side of the street and place food in the monk’s bowls as a way to make merit.

This photo was taken in Luang Prabang, Laos, at about 7 am when the monks were out on a cloudy morning.

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  • chris

    12 years ago

    i would love to see the monks collecting alms in the morning.I didnt see them falling in line in bangkok,there were just two or three at a time begging for alms

  • ladakh tour

    12 years ago

    the Buddhism monk is laborious. In this picture they are collecting food in large bowl amazing…….

  • Arti

    12 years ago

    This is an amazing pic. I can relate with the Jain monks who too have similar routines. People fold their hands and give them food, it is considered very good.

  • Renee King

    12 years ago

    For some reason, this saddens me. Maybe I’m too far removed culturally and looking at this with Western eyes, but it seems like they are begging….but I am glad that people are sharing their food with them.

  • Emily S.

    12 years ago

    Do they collect the food for themselves, or is it to give away to others?

    Their bright clothing is such a stark contrast to the surroundings!

    • Mark Wiens

      12 years ago

      Hey Emily. They collect food together as monks from a temple, then they go back to the temple and share the food amongst themselves. The contrast is what I really liked about this photo!

  • Priyank

    12 years ago

    Hey Mark, this photo reminded me of my childhood, I too used to go in the morning to seek alms. Not every day and certainly not dressed colourfully like that. 🙂