Boun Khao Phansa in Laos is the start of the three-month period sometimes referred to as “Buddhist Lent”. Boun Khao Phansa starts on the full moon of the eighth month and runs till the full moon of the eleventh month of the Buddhist Calendar.
|2020||5 Jul||Sun||Boun Khao Phansa|
|2021||24 Jul||Sat||Boun Khao Phansa|
|2022||13 Jul||Wed||Boun Khao Phansa|
|2023||3 Jul||Mon||Boun Khao Phansa|
|2024||20 Jul||Sat||Boun Khao Phansa|
During this time period, Buddhist monks stay at a pagoda and focus on meditation and strict observance of their religion. They are especially forbidden from sleeping anywhere else but in their pagoda at night.
On Boun Khao Phansa, people of villages throughout Laos bring food offerings in bowls to the pagoda-bound monks – a practice called “tak bat”. Tak bat means “morning offering”, and indeed, these offerings are brought in the morning hours.
There are other rituals performed by the people and monks on Boun Khao Phansa, such as the blessing of “holy water” which is then poured out onto the earth, candlelight processions around Buddhist temples, and neighbourhood “drumming competitions”.