The temple gong rings once. It is 5:00 am. This first blow to the gong wakes every dog in the neighbourhood and they all begin to howl in unison. The gong sounds another thirty to forty times. This occurs only on special days of the Buddhist calendar. It is a wake-up call both for the monks and for the people of the neighbourhood; the people are thus encouraged to arise to prepare food, visit the temple, donate some food to the monks and money to the temple.
As we approach the day of the Loi Krathong Festival, the gong goes off about every second morning. At other times of the year the gong would wake the neighbourhood about once every seven days. Our homestay father arises at 5:00 am each day whether the gong sounds or not. He goes for a run and proceeds to meditate before breakfast. I am impressed by his dedication.
This is just a brief picture of life as we know it these days.