Video coming soon: New Year’s festival at Mongkoltepmuni Temple
Social interaction in the temple often centers around the kitchen, and involves the preparation, sharing, and eating of food. Food also plays an important role in Buddhist rituals. Fruit or other offerings on an altar and alms donated to monks are vital parts of the economy of gift-giving and central ways to earn karmic merit in most traditions. Food, of course, always has close connections to health. Many Mahāyāna groups connect vegetarianism specifically with health in addition to good karma. Temples have been locations where community education about nutrition and health takes place. In addition, many Asian medical and folk traditions hold that specific foods provide particular health benefits.