Monks set out each day at first light with their alms-bowls and wander silently through a village or town collecting food for the day. They will share the food on returning to the monastery in a communal mid-day meal. For some monks, this will be their only meal.
The daily alms-round was originally practiced by the Buddha and is continued today
in all Theravada countries as a means of making merit. The charitable devotees supply the Samgha, or Buddhist community, with a monastery to dwell in, robes to wear, medicine to treat with, and food to eat; in return they ask no thanks. The community is grateful for the opportunity to perform acts of charity and to accrue merits and virtues. Thus the daily alms-round serves mutual benefit for the devotees as well as the devoted.