Yesterday I was dragged out of bed at 0 dark hundred, in other words w-a-a-a-y before dawn, to go downtown to CentralWorld mall where there was to be an alms giving to 10,000 monks.
Normally the monks go around their neighbourhood receiving alms from the local residents but sometimes these events are held by companies to gain merit. I found it a bit ironic that this was being held outside one of Bangkok’s major temples of mass commercialism, complete with Christmas/New Year decorations and a large beer garden, but maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age ……
I let my friend go and give alms by herself, citing an inability to sit cross legged for 2 hours during the service due to old age. Apart from that, I did n’t have any white trousers to wear, and I would rather take photos of the event.
An old cynic I may be, but I must admit I found it rather moving to hear 10,000 monks and perhaps 50,000 or more other people chanting during the service. If I’ve understood it right, they were chanting the Eight Precepts, which is the Buddhist version of the 10 Commandments.
For those who know Bangkok, the ceremony took up all of the road between Ploenchit and Petchaburi roads, about 500 metres long so that’s a lot of people.
I’m off down south to the islands tomorrow, so hopefully lots of photos of palm trees, sandy beaches and blue skies I’ve borrowed a friend’s brand new GoPro 4 to take as well as my camera so that should be fun. Unfortunately it’s only a one week trip, but that’s better than nothing !