The Morning Procession

Monastic life in Luang Prabang begins at the break of dawn.

Collecting alms


One morning I rise early to see the morning alms ceremony. It's still dark when I leave, but several locals are already outside. Most have prepared bamboo baskets typically filled with sticky rice that's still steaming, although veggies, meat, and sweets enter the mix.

From their temples, monks file out onto the streets, almsbowls strapped to their shoulders, receiving their share of breakfast one handful at a time.

Baskets in hand, ready to give.

An exceptional amount of alms.

The monks move quickly through at a power walk pace. There are no pleasantries to be exchanged, just food and a grateful nod of a head.

Packing up


The procession ends when the sun splashes the pavement. The monks return to their temples in single file and the locals head home to begin their day.