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Cambodia marks traditional Pchhum Ben, or honoring-the-dead festival

English.news.cn   2013-10-04 13:50:46            

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has been celebrating its traditional Pchhum Ben festival, the country's 2nd largest traditional celebration, which has fallen on Oct. 3-5.

The festival is to honor the dead through offering food and other stuff to the souls of spirits, ancestors and the dead through reciting by Buddhist monks.

During the 3-day jubilant occasion of Pchhum Ben, Buddhist followers bring food, fruit, money, candles and incense sticks to offer to Buddhist monks at pagodas in order to dedicate to their dead relatives and wish for longevity, good luck, happiness and prosperity.

"This is our tradition and belief, all my family members have practiced this tradition from generation to generation," Chhim Savay, 58, a Phnom Penh resident said Friday while celebrating the festival at a pagoda.

"We believe that everything we offer to the monks would reach our dead relatives."

Buddhism is the country's state religion with more than 90 percent of the country's 14.7 million people being Buddhists.

The Southeast Asian nation has some 4,400 Buddhist pagodas with over 50,000 monks in all 24 provinces and cities, according to the Ministry of Cults and Religion.

Pchhum Ben festival is also a time for family re-union.

About 80 percent of the population has resided in rural areas, but most young adults have migrated to cities for jobs. On that occasion, migrant workers have been allowed a three-day holiday to visit their hometowns.

This year's celebration was made as Mekong River and flash floods have been hitting most parts of the country. The floods have killed at least 39 people and affected more than 100,000 families in the past few weeks, according to a report from the National Committee for Disaster Management on Thursday.

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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