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Today was the beginning of Buddhist Lent. Activities began at the temple at 10 a.m., with a sermon (all in Thai, of course) by a visiting monk, followed by chanting, the blessing of food offerings, 11:30 lunch for the monks and lay people (I prepared sweet and sour shrimp), followed by more "prayers", chanting, and sermonizing, and concluding with circumnabulation of the primary Buddha statue (which is outside in a courtyard). Fortunately, Ajahn Yut has sort of adopted us non-Thai speakers, watches out for us that we are fully included in all activities, and explains many aspects of ceremonies to us. A great day. In olden times, Buddhist lent began to encourage monks not to travel so that they would not trample on new rice plantings. Nowadays, in Thailand, they can out from the temple during the day time, but must return to their home temple for sleep.