2, 3, 4, 5,
6, 7, 8
Thailand a man can be ordained as a monk when he's twenty years old
and can leave the monkhood at any time. It's a common practice to be
ordained for a short time before getting married or when a relative
dies and older men sometimes retire into the monkhood. They can see
their families but must follow the vow of celibacy. A person can stop
being a monk at any time. There's no stigma attached to this. Instead,
the person is honored for having been a monk.
A person can be ordained at any time but
it's most often done for the three or four months during the rainy season—from
July to October or November. This period is called phansa in
Thai. In English it's called “Buddhist lent” but a more
correct term would be “rains retreat”. The two holidays
associated with it are kao phansa (“enter lent”)
and awk phansa (“leave lent”). Between these two
holidays monks must stay in their temple of residence. The word phansa
can be used to express the length of time a person has been a monk.
If someone is a monk for one phansa it means three months but
the term can also be used for years—ha phansa refers
to five years as a monk.
in Thai -
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