The Kathina Ceremony

October – November, 2015 

Across Thailand

The Kathina Ceremony
Image Courtesy: Royalty free Google images

The Kathina ceremony is a Buddhist festival which occurs towards the end of Vassa, a three-month retreat that is observed by the Theravada Buddhists across Thailand.

Today, the festival is considered the biggest alms-giving occasion in Thailand, and every nation where Buddhism has a stronghold. On the day of the actual festival, people visit monasteries across the country. In the afternoon, customarily around 1 pm, the ceremonial offering of new robes to ordained monks takes place.

Kahtein refers to the traditional ceremony wherein yellow robes are presented to the Buddhist sangha (monastic order). In Thailand, these robes are called Kathin, which is where the event gets its name. The event is so important in Thai culture, that the presentation of the sacred Kathin by the King of Thailand is an occasion for one of Thailand’s Royal Barge Processions.

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