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Sep 23, 2014

Posted in Past Events

Kathina Ceremony at An Lac Mission

Back in July we posted a piece on the annual Rains Retreat and its significance particularly to Buddhists across Southern Asia.

As stated then, several years ago the local Sri Lankan community brought back the tradition of observing Kathina at An Lac Mission and this festival held at the end of the Rains Retreat (Vassa) period has become a regular observance. This has led to a renewed interest in the Rains Retreat and the laypersons abidance in this long standing tradition as a time to express gratitude to monks and nuns for their teaching and guidance. At this time lay members bring donations to temples, that typically include money, food stuffs as well as various supplies and sundries which are generally put beneath a Kapruka (the wish tree).


According to the scriptures, a group of thirty monks were journeying together with the intention of spending the Vassa (Rains) period with the Lord Buddha, but the Vassa began before they reached their destination and so they had to stop.

The monks were upset that they were unable to be with Buddha, who later heard of their plight. As a reward Buddha gave some cloth, which he had acquired as a gift from one of the lay community, to the monks and told them to sew a robe and then bestow it upon one of their company. The Buddha said that there was nothing as uplifting as generosity and sharing, and so the monks set about sewing a new set of robes. They used a frame, called a Kathina, on which to spread the cloth as they were making it.

Kathina Procession 2012

Kathina Procession 2012


Today the Robe offering continues to be the important part of the Kathina Festival and all the steps involved in making the offering and final presentation of the robe are handled by sponsors from the lay community.  This starts with the cloth giving which according to Buddha, must be offered to the whole Sangha community, who will then decide among themselves who receives the gift.

Of course what festival would be complete without a feast! The An Lac Kathina festival is no exception. So after the procession, the cloth offering and the dyeing of the cloth, the dedications and chanting. A special lunch is offered to the monks and nuns and after they have eaten there is a lunch for the devotees and guests. (Please see the program listing below.)

This year’s sponsors are the Wijerathna Family & all members of An Lac Mission. (Kathina flyer 2014)


7:00am- Alms (Breakfast) Offering to the Sangha

8:45am- Kathina Procession (Please meet at the corner of Telephone & Saticoy)

9:15 am- Dying the robe,

  • Offerings to the Buddha;
  • Dedication of Kathina robe,
  • The kapruka (the wish tree), & offering alms (lunch) to the community of sangha;
  • Offering lunch for the community of sangha.
  • Handing over the Kathina robe to a monk selected by the community of sangha.

1:00pm- Lunch for the devotees and guests.

1:30pm- Blood donation drive.

Details Regarding Offerings

Offerings For Kapruka:

KAPRUKA (Celestial Tree) is said to be the tree of wishes. What ever you wish the Tree would give. Sri Lankans used this idea to offer all requisites for the temple on the KATHINA day of the year. In that way monks and nuns had no need to wait until someone makes an offer when Temple storage already had the needed items freely available which were offered in the previous Kathina Ceremony.

Donations in-kind:

You can donate different items that are needed regularly. Please check with the temple before you buy.

Financial Donations:

Please write your check to AN LAC MISSION with KATHINA 2014 on MEMO line. If you donate cash and wish to have a receipt please write your name and address on the donation envelope.

Alms Giving Ceremony

If you would like to offer food or gifts (PIRIKARA) for the community of Monks and Nuns please contact:

  • George (805-376-9496)
  • Gananath (310-210-2870)

It would be very helpful if you could contact them on or before Oct. 01, 2014.

Thank you.

May the blessings of the Triple Gem be with you!