Bangkok, Thailand. 21st July, 2013. Three generations of a family give food to a monk to make merit at Wat Benchamabophit on the first day of Vassa, the three-month annual retreat observed by Theravada monks and nuns. On the first day of Vassa (or Buddhist Lent) many Buddhists visit their temples to ''make merit.'' During Vassa, monks and nuns remain inside monasteries and temple grounds, devoting their time to intensive meditation and study. Laypeople support the monastic sangha by bringing food, candles and other offerings to temples.