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Kathina is a Buddhist festival which comes at the end of Vassa, the three-month rainy season retreat for Theravada Buddhists. The season during which a monastery may hold a 'Kathina' festival is one month long, beginning after the full moon of the eleventh month in the Lunar calendar (usually October). In order to hold a 'Kathina', a monastery must have had five monks in residence during the retreat period and only those who were present for the entire retreat are eligible to receive the robe cloth offered.

It is a time of giving, for the laity to express gratitude to monks. Lay Buddhists bring donations to temples, especially new robes for the monks.


Kathin (Thai: กฐิน) in Thailand (there is also the transcription "Gathin" in use) is the name for the robes of an ordained monk[1]; the ceremony of Kathina is called Thod Kathin (Thai: ทอดกฐิน). The Thai lunar calendar reckons the day after the 11th full moon as Waning 1, Evening, Moon 11 (Thai: แรม ๑ ค่ำ เดือน ๑๑ Raem 1 Kham Deuan 11 ). The presentation of Kathin by the King of Thailand or HM representative is called The Royal Kathin Ceremony and often has been an occasion for one of Thailand's Royal Barge Processions.

Gathin Festival is a traditional buddhistic festival celebrated by villagers in Northeast Thailand (Issan, Isan, Esarn) and Laos. Colorful parades and offering ceremonies at the end of monks´ retreat at local temples. On Owk-Pansa day of the full moon, villagers and city dwellers will go to their local temple for prayers and paying respect to the sacred.


  1. ^ name=ORID>On-line Royal Institute Dictionary (ORID - 1999)


[A video preview about the most colorful scenes of a Gathin Festival at a village temple in Sisaket, NE-Thailand, is available in the "Ethnographic Video Section" at]



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