Luang Prabang, Laos
5:30am on July 10, 2010
Everyday at 5AM Buddhist monks leave their temples to go on their morning alms rounds. This ancient ritual serves both practical and spiritual ends. Here in Luang Prabang, Laos (along with other Buddhist countries), temples are the spiritual repositories for the community. In turn, the community supports the temples with alms food and donations. Morning alms also supports the poorest in Laos, which is already one of the 20 poorest nations on Earth; after the monks receive food they in turn give some of that food to children who purposefully sit downstream of those giving alms. Between waves of monks the children quickly hide the food they’ve already received.
The photos and video below show the children, alms givers, spectators and monks enacting the ritual.