31 for 21: To the temple

waz up?
Wednesday was the end of Buddhist Lent. Big parties are on, people can get married again, and the rains should be letting up soon. It is an important day to offer alms at the temple and recieve blessings. In Vientiane, every neighborhood has its own temple (it usually gives the neighborhood its name too) but I have a tradition of going to the temple at the village of my dragon boat racing team. This year I didn't paddle (doh!) but I could still go see the grandmas on the special day.

can i have some of that rice?

So Nava, Daddy and myself woke up at 5:45am (!) (!!) (!!!) to get all dressed up and out the village (its about 40 min away. I love my village though). Actually, Nava got packed into the car in her jammies to hopefully continue sleeping while the shiny silk came out. Going to temple, like going to Church, calls for dressing up a bit. Plus, you need a scarf or sash to wear over your left shoulder.

We clean up real good huh?

The rest of the drill goes:
Offerings. I'd gone out the night before and bough juice boxes chocolate milk boxes as well as some little individually wrapped cakes to put in the monks bowls (monk treats). We picked up flowers, incense and candles on the way (roadside merit making stalls spring up on major holy days!).

Then, you arrange your offerings in your silver bowl and sit on the floor of the open air temple hall and listen to prayers, all the while sitting mermaid style and keeping your hands in prayer position. Now that I've lived around these parts half my life I can get through a whole 'service' in mermaid with hands at prayer but it was not always the case!

After the first round of prayers you get up, barefoot, and get in line to put offerings in the monk bowls lined up on a table while the monks continue chanting. Then you return to the hall and assume the positon again for the closing, which features slowly pouring out water into your bowl to symbolize washing away the bad. It's a fun kind of audience participation. :)

Then and only then to do you take really really cute pictures with your toddler at the temple and with the village 'grandmas'.

She never goes to strangers, yet...!

I've known these ladies for over 6 years. They're lovely.


  1. Thank you for the quick trip to Laos! Oh, I want to visit SO BADLY...
    Ps. Nava is just adorable on those steps! And she's standing so well!

  2. She is on an adorable kick these days, cracks herself up all the time! Too fun.
    I'd love to give you the "expanded" tour someday. We can just get Thai airways to sponsor Doozedad and....


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