Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, Kuang Si Waterfalls, Wat Xieng Thong, Mekong River Boat Cruise
We will have a chance to visit various temples and the royal palace in Luang Prabang to learn about the culture of Laos and daily life. Walking with a local guide, you will hear many local …
Walking with a local guide and hear many unique local stories about Luang Prabang. Half-day experience learning about Luang Prabang's world heritage and local community
Morning Alms Giving Ceremony (Sai Bat)
I thought, “Everything is an experience,” so I sat on the side of the road in the early morning darkness and offered sticky rice to the monks. Well, it was only a mere imitation, but when I actually did it, and I understood the power of the place and the authenticity of it from my experience in a surprisingly strong way. Religious people often say, “Even if it is only a formal imitation, if you keep on doing it, it will one day become the real thing” and that may indeed be the case. (Haruki Murakami)
In Buddhism, alms or almsgiving is the respect given by a lay Buddhist to a Buddhist monk, nun, spiritually-developed person or other sentient being. It is not charity as presumed by Western interpreters. It is important to know the ceremony is also a spiritual practice to accumulate good karma for those who give the alms. It is closer to a symbolic connection to the spiritual realm and to show humbleness and respect in the presence of the secular society. The act of almsgiving connects the human to the monk and what he represents. As the Buddha has stated:
Householders & the homeless or charity [monastics] in mutual dependence both reach the true Dhamma….
The morning alms giving (in Lao: Sai Bat) is a living Buddhist tradition for the people of Luang Prabang which, because of its beauty, has become a major tourist attraction. However, when tourists are unaware of its customs their inappropriate behaviors can be disruptive. We would like to draw your attention to this religious practice, which ha great meaning for the population of Luang Prabang.