Almsgiving in Luang Prabang



Laos’s people are mainly Buddhists. Giving alms to the monks is a traditional activity and still strong in Luang Prabang. Although there seems to be tourists’ line, either purpose of the almsgiving participation or taking photographs, more than local residents at present. This long-established practice is one of attractive things that visitors aim to see in this peaceful town.

Monks in a line

Monks in a line

Monks march-past

Monks march-past


I was like many visitors that wanted to have photos of monks’ line receive alms by the local people or tourists. Of course, I got some as you can see. However, while I was waiting around for the next coming line of the monks, I was interested in a middle age Laos women who I sat beside her. Her manner when she gave alms to the monks was very interesting. Thence I pointed my camera lens to her rather than the monks’ line at the last moment of my shooting. She was willing and pleased to me when I asked her permission before taking photos.

Get ready

Get ready

When she picked sticky rice from a bamboo basket, she raised it to her forehead, bent her head a bit before placing it in the monks’ alms bowl and lifted her right hand touch the forehead at the end. It is a salutation and a moment that you pray to the act, she told me.
Pray and salute

Pray and salute

Once she finished the almsgiving and there was sticky rice left, she picked some sticky rice and molded them to three small scoops. She placed them at a fence. What I was told is that the three scoops of sticky rice represent to the three elements of Buddhism – Buddha, Dharma and Priest.

At a fence

The end



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