What to Wear to a Buddhist Temple?
If you are planning to visit a Buddhist temple and are unsure of what to wear, this post is for you.
The people at Buddhist temples are some of the kindest, most welcoming I’ve ever met, but if you are new to visiting a Buddhist temple, you may not know what is considered appropriate attire.
Keep in mind that a Buddhist temple is a place of worship and peace, where people come together to learn about the Buddha’s teachings and practice meditation and prayer.
It is important to dress in a way that shows respect for this sacred space. The sense of peace and tranquility that comes from a Buddhist temple is not just in the air, but also in the clothes you wear.
While understanding the customs and traditions of Buddhism can help you feel more at home in the temple, it is not absolutely necessary to dress in traditional Buddhist robes when visiting a temple.
However, there are some things you should keep in mind if you’re going to be at a temple for an extended period of time:
- a) Wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to move freely without being restrictive or uncomfortable.
- b) Dress modestly. Your clothing should not be too flashy or revealing.
- c) Avoid too much jewelry, make-up, perfume or cologne.
- d) Dress in clean clothes.
- e) Shoes must be removed before entering a place where people sit down for worship and also no shoes are allowed on the meditation cushions in the sanctuary area.
Wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees at the very least. In some temples, clothing can also be rented.
Amazon is also an excellent source for Buddhist/Asian clothing:
However, clothing isn’t the only thing to be cautious about. As you approach the temple, take off your shoes and hat.
Several other factors must also be taken into account. Temples are not merely tourist attractions. Tourists are certainly attracted to them, but first and foremost they are religious sites. Therefore, we should refrain from touching items inside the temple or taking selfies with the Buddha.
There are some other special considerations for women who wish to visit temples as well: they must cover their shoulders and legs with long skirts or pants. Men should dress modestly and avoid shorts, sleeveless shirts, tank tops, and hats inside temples. The key is to respect the cultural and traditional practices, while at the same time feeling comfortable and free to enjoy yourself.
For women, this means covered arms, legs and chest. For men, you’ll find that they cover their shoulders and upper hands as well. What to wear changes by tradition too – some people dress like monks or nuns, while others just dress like visitors who want to honor the occasion. Long pants and button-downs with no belt or tie would always be a safe bet though.
To visit a Buddhist temple, it would be helpful to wear clothes that cover most of your skin. The more that is covered the better in general partly because it’s believed to minimize distracting thoughts. It’s important to remember that Buddhist temples tend to become stricter, since lust is not considered good karma. So dress accordingly.
Dresses Traditional to Buddhism
Buddhist wear can take many forms. Experts in the practice often recommend that you wear something that expresses your commitment to the ideas of Buddhism.
Buddhist monks have a strict dress code that must be followed at all times. They traditionally wear a saffron/maroon/orange robe. Their attire is a reflection of their life of service as well as an expression of the universality and timelessness of the Dharma (Buddhist law).
In terms of what to wear to a Buddhist temple, individual temples may have their own dress codes and that’s why a generic answer might not be appropriate here. If this is very important to you, you might also talk with someone from a Buddhist center or monastery near you since the customs and traditions of Buddhism vary greatly from area to area and temple to temple.
It is important to be aware of the appropriate clothing to wear when visiting a holy place, and the same is true for Buddhist temples.
In these sacred spaces, modest clothing is recommended.
It is not about trying to impress others, but rather about showing respect and avoiding anything that could be perceived as offensive.
Hello. The video is very helpful. I was raised Christian, followed it most my life. Always been drawn to Buddhism. I am taking the steps to explore Buddhism now. I have not before now, because most of my family have discouraged me from doing so. It’s a cult, don’t do it, they say. They have good intentions, and their concern is sincere, but this is my journey not theirs. I have taken the steps of this journey buy researching videos like this, websites, visited a temple for evening chant 2 times. I have bought a couple books. I am trying to start my day with a daily reading; your true home the everyday wisdom of thich nhat hanh. Today I am visiting a temple here in Columbus to experience the beginner’s meditation they have at 10:00 am. I’m very excited about my new journey. One that I have put off for many years. Do you have any helpful suggestions for me as a beginner?
Robert Alvarado says
Hi Eric, it’s wonderful to hear that.
Follow your instincts. Give yourself time and allow your heart to guide you towards what’s best for you.
In the meantime, you can check out the following YouTube channels for tips, guidance, and explanations: