Young monks take a day off

Seeing children on a ride at an amusement park is common, but it is most curious when they are dressed in the robes of a Buddhist monk.

While it may be foreign to many, children in robes are customary in South Korea this time of the year.

The young monks are part of a annual ceremony called Children Becoming Buddhist Monks.

In the weeks leading up to the Buddha's birthday, which falls on May 12 this year, children are sent away to take part in this programme.

They shave their heads, wear the robes and receive prayer beads during the ceremony as part of the special temple-stay programme.

The programme teaches children about Buddhism and allows them to experience the lives of monks.

They will stay in a temple for two weeks as novice monks to learn about the religion.

But it is not all religious texts and prayer, as some pint-sized monks in Yongin, South Korea, got the day off to visit the Everland theme park.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2019, with the headline 'Young monks take a day off'. Print Edition | Subscribe