When we visited Laos a few years ago I heard about a morning ritual where Buddhist monks would walk through the town first thing in the morning and receive food and other essentials from community members.

I set my alarm for an early wake-up and walked out of our lodging. Just up the street this scene was taking place. I learned this is called Tak Bat or Sai Bat (translated as morning alms) takes place before 6AM. It’s a long time tradition of some 700 years and it’s a practice that is served in silence. It is actually considered a ceremony and for the people giving, It is an act of their Buddhist faith – to gain merit for the afterlife.And for many of the monks, this will be their only source of food that day.

There are several elements in this photo that I enjoy – The first monk, who has received his alms and has his container under his robe; the colorful yellow belt that signifies a novice monk. The women seated on small wooden stools. The dog with it’s head turned also intrigues me.