Traditionally Buddhist males in Burma will ordain twice: once when
they are about ten years old, as novice monks who take ten precepts (or
rules); and once when they are twenty years old, as fully ordained monks
who follow two hundred and thirty rules. Most ordain for a short period,
one or two weeks.
Boys from rural villages or poor families may also ordain and live in
a monastery as novice monks while they study in high school. Most, but
not all, will disrobe when they finish their studies.
Only a few men will ordain for much longer periods, or their whole
It is less common for girls or women to ordain. In Burma girls and
women can only ordain taking eight precepts and they cannot wear the
same robes as monks.
Temporary novice ordination in Bendigo
The Karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation organises temporary
novice ordination each year during the summer holidays.
This temporary novice ordination is open to males and females of all
ages and nationalities.
If you want to know more about ordination as a novice monk,
Buddhanet has an
book about ordination in Thailand.
Photos of 2010 novice ordination ceremony: