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[Photos] In An Giang, Buddhist Devotees Gather to Observe Uposatha Day

In September, Buddhists in An Giang Province gathered at Tuk Phos Pagoda in Tri Ton District to observe Uposatha day together.

Uposatha is a Buddhist day of religious observance with roots dating back to Buddha’s time. In An Giang, Vietnam’s Khmer community takes part in the ritual by visiting the area’s scores of pagodas. On Uposatha days, followers obey the eight precepts — or bát quan trai giới in Vietnamese — of Buddhism for 24 hours. “Quan” means door, a gate to stop sinful acts, while “trai,” or posadha in Sanskrit, refers to the fast which participants have to undergo. By strictly adhering to the eight precepts, Buddhist devotees maintain mental purity for 24 hours. These include: no killing, no stealing, no sexual acts or thoughts, no lying, no drinking of alcohol, no engaging in cosmetics or entertainment, no sleeping on elaborate and tall bed, and no taking food at the wrong time (after 12pm).

Have a closer look at the religious ritual in An Giang below:

A new Buddha statue that a follower donated to the pagoda is being dressed by monks.

Buddhist followers waiting for the ceremony to start.

Monks walk to where the ceremony takes place.

Monks holding alms bowls.

Buddhist followers offering rice to the monks.

The queue of Buddhist devotees waiting for their turn.

A monk and his alms bowl being filled with rice.

A blind follower sits on a bench in the courtyard.

After finishing the outdoor part of the ritual, the monks move inside to continue the ceremony.

Participants have a lively chat during a break.

Participants chanting on the floor.

Monks having a meal using offerings given by followers.