Wat Sibounheuang Deutschland

Lunch Expedition: Boun Kathin

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 11/11/2018
09:00 - 13:00

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At the end of Vassa, the three-month rainy season (around October), local communities around Buddhist monasteries gather to express gratitude to the monks.  The people bring donations to temples – gifts of cloth and supplies that will be useful for the coming year.  The cloth is then cut, sewn and dyed to make a robe on that day to offer to one of the monks.

This ceremonial offering of robes and other items is the Boun Kathin, the festival of offering robes to the monks.  Kathin is the name of the wooden device used to keep the robes taut while they are being made.

Of all the offerings made in the Buddhist religion, the offering of a Kathin brings the highest form of merit to the donor.  To a devout Buddhist, to be able to organize and offer a Kathin is a noble deed of the highest honour.

This 2,500-year-old tradition is still carried on here in the western world in the Theravadan monasteries. It is both a significant and joyful occasion acknowledging the relationship of friendship and mutual support between the local community and monastic community.  All year round, monasteries function solely on offerings from local communities.

There is a Buddhist monastery in Altlussheim, Wat Sibounheuang, which is the only monastery in Germany run by Laotian monks.  This monastery is the gathering point for Theravada Buddhists who come from all over Germany for this important festival.

When:  Sunday, November 11th, starting at 09.00am till about 1.00pm thereabouts

Where:  Wat Sibounheuang, Benzstraße 9, 68804 Altlußheim

What:  On this day, many Buddhists will visit the temple early in the morning to make their offerings.  Many stalls will already be set up by 08.00am outside near the temple grounds selling a wide variety of Thai and Lao food specialties.  I will be your guide on the various Southeast Asian food items on sale.  This is a great opportunity to stock up your pantry!  Be sure to bring enough cash to pay for your purchases.

The best time to visit this market is between 09.00am and 11.00am.  All the good stuff are usually sold out by then.  A buffet lunch will be served between 12.30 and 13.30 hours, after which temple-goers will stay on to listen to sermons from the monks.  If you would like to stay on for lunch after browsing the stalls, you will have the chance to sample a generous spread of authentic, home-cooked fare – be prepared to be overwhelmed by the amount of food and the size of the crowd!  As guests, we need to bring our own plates and cutlery, and give a donation to the monastery after we have eaten.

More details once the list of participants are finalized.

Online registration is now open.

Faeimm Tang

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