It is said that Buddhism isn’t a religion; its a way of life.
Nevertheless there are many aspects that look religious, and then immediately look odd to Western eyes: beautiful temples with plastic fans, dogs in temples, slightly kitsch statues next to items of great antiquity etc…
There are also some more practical aspects to Buddhism that startle at first. Most people will have heard of alms giving (where the public give food to Monks on a daily basis). These ceremonial collections are usually early in the morning (about 6.00 am) and whilst usually consisting of food, can be of other items as well… this is where the ‘Monk Bucket’ comes in.
A lot of the temples have stalls where you can buy a Monk Bucket made up with various items, a bit like a gift set; but today I found a whole load of Monk offer stuff on sale in the supermarket!
Note the colour: saffron, all of it.