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Photographer's Note

In February 2004, I was staying in a village Temple about 30k outside Vientiane. The village, which was very poor, was celebrating its festival. Everyone was involved in this procession to the Temple. They are carrying gold paper decorations, which they have made, food, flowers and (a par pa) a money tree.
This is a traditional way to give money to a temple. The Buddha and his disciples refused to accept gifts of fabric to make robes. They collected scraps of fabric that they found. So his followers used to tie scraps of material to the trees for the monks to find. Today people attach paper money to a branch and take it to the temple. (By tradition monks robes must be made up of patches of material and never made from a single piece; also every monks robe must have a fault. When they are given a new robe, they usually take a marker pen and make a black spot somewhere to avoid wearing a perfect robe)
The two young monks, leading the procession are carrying fans. Traditionally, when a monk is teaching the Dhamma to the people, he covers his face with the fan, so they people will understand that the teaching is not his, as a person, but from the Buddha.
Phra Sangham, the monk in the centre, is carrying the special fan of a ‘Maha’ a monk who has passed a series of examinations to make him a teacher.

After the ceremony lay people had a party with food and fun for everyone. Everything about this village was so poor, but they managed to be very happy. They made me feel very welcome.

kinginexile, matri, bip-bip, apache has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: kevin o'sheehan (kevinos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 173 N: 1802] (7517)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2004-02-20
  • Categories: Festivals
  • Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2005-04-23 12:06
Viewed: 2376
Points: 10
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Additional Photos by kevin o'sheehan (kevinos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 173 N: 1802] (7517)
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