One morning we rose early, as in really early, to offer alms, as in food, to the monks.
At around 5:30 am the monks file past along the footpath in the main street of Luang Prabang. They each carry a silver bowl with a lid. They raise the lid as they walk past and you place food directly into their bowls.
A couple of local ladies approached us when we arrived and sold us some food. Others prefer to buy theirs at the local market.
When the monks walked past we quickly placed dollops of sticky rice, biscuits and bananas into their bowls. Apparently they are neither happy when they receive food nor disappointed if they don’t. The food they receive sustains them until the following day’s procession.
It was quite a sight to see such a large procession of monks, clad in their robes of orange. Our Canadian friend Linda counted over 200 file past.
It was all over in about 15 minutes. Because we were up we went for a walk around town in the relative cool of the morning. We wandered past all the guest houses, businesses and homes and checked out a couple of the temples.
It is clearly the best part of the day and we saw the city waking up: preparations for work, school and breakfast. There were a lot of people sweeping up in front of their homes and businesses. They certainly take pride in their town.
Friendly smiles and greetings were offered all over town. Then we went back to bed until breakfast.