Wat Chaimongkol ‘pha pa’ raises funds for charity

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Pattaya Buddhists gave robes to monks and money to charity at Chaimongkol Temple’s annual “pha pa” fundraiser.

Nearly 1 million baht had been raised by Feb. 26, the 12th day of the drive. Money from the “clothing tree” event will be donated to underprivileged children and inmates at Pattaya Remand Prison.

Phra Panyarattanaporn, abbot of Chaimongkol Temple, said “pha pa”, which unlike the kathin robe-giving ceremony can be held at any time of the year, was approved by the Buddhism Council of Chonburi to raise funds for charity and to support students who are interested in religious education.

191 ordained students and 93 monks lectured during the Pali teachings.

Pali language will also be taught during courses and students also learn how temples operate.

This year marks as the fourth “pha pa” activity at Chaimongkol and all residents and tourists were welcomed. More than 200 monks lectured.

“Pha pa” began in ancient times when monks only wore robes made of scraps of clothing from dead people. Devotees would then occasionally hang clothing from the branches of trees, giving the “clothing tree” custom its name.

It later evolved into a general fundraiser, with the usual objective of raising funds to build new or renovate old temple structures.