Messina, the Buddhist community gathered at the Annunziata for the “Katina” festival


By John

Celebration time for the Buddhists present in Messina. This morning the celebration of “Katina” is underway in the Annunziata community, it is the offering of the special robe (Katina civara) prepared and presented to the monks who have completed the three-month retreat called Vas in Sinhalese, and Vassana in Pali, i.e. the period of rain. Katina literally means “feat”, or “solid”, because offering a Katina robe helps you earn solid good karma. The Katina ceremony is over 2500 years old. It is a monastic tradition preserved and observed by Buddhists all over the world, because it is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire merit once a year. As Buddha himself ordered, monks must go around spreading the Dharma, but during the rainy season they stop in a temple for a long period (3 months) of meditation and purification.

During this period devotees have the opportunity to learn the Dharma from monks by listening to sermons, getting involved in discussions on the Dhamma, participating in meditation programs, and listening to devotional chanting. It’s a time of blessing. Monks help the community lead a pure life, emphasizing the importance of practicing the Five Precepts and the teachings of the Buddha. The offering of the Katina robe is considered one of the greatest meritorious deeds. Whatever else is offered to a monk on Katina day is also considered meritorious on this special day. It is also said that whoever offers a Katina robe to a monk who has observed the spiritual guidance proposed by the Buddha with diligence and commitment, even just once in his life, although in samsara, even if he is reborn over and over again, will not be in need or indigence and will never be reduced to rags for lack of clothes.