ABOUT ROBES OFFERING: In Buddha’s time, ascetic monks who wandered in the forest would use the discarded cloth to clothe themselves for modesty’s sake and simplicity. These cloths can come from those used to wrap corpses. According to the Mahavagga of the Vinaya Pitaka, it was only twenty years after the inception of the Buddhist monastic order that the Buddha first accepted the donation of a robe. Buddha’s physician, Jivaka, requested the Buddha to allow the monks to accept robes donated by lay followers.
Today, Kathina ceremony is observed after the 3-month rains retreat (vassa) annually, where devotees offer clothes to monks for the purpose of making robes. Monks will take this cloth to cut, sew, and dye to complete a robe before dawn the next day.