Published by
The Royal Embassy of Cambodia to Australia and New Zealand
Issue: 27
September, 2005

Cambodia Pchum Ben Festival

The fifteenth day of the tenth month, of the Khmer calendar marks the Pchum Ben festival.

This is a time when the spirits of the dead ancestors walk the Earth. And the living can ease their suffering by offering them food to eat.

According to Buddhist beliefs, most of the people offer food and other gifts to the monks in pagoda.

It is believed that it is best if you can deliver to seven pagodas especially during the festival.

During the festival, people also build sand mountains, which represents the release of the sins they have committed during the past years, some people also build little boats, candles and incense sticks.

Num Onsam and sweet Num Korm (steamed cakes wrapped in banana leaves) are taken to pagodas during the festival to share among participants.

Cambodia people believe that the souls of the dead will come to pagodas, hoping to receive offerings from their relatives or descendants through the prayers recited by the Bddhist monks.

With most of Cambodian people participating, this annual commemoration is one of the most important events in the Khmer Buddhist calendar.


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Royal Embassy of Cambodia, 5 Canterbury Crescent, Deakin ACT 2600
E-mail: Tel: (02) 6273 12 59/ 6273 1154 / Fax:(02) 6273 1053

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