Discovery >

Respect for Ancestors Runs Deep in Cambodian Culture

April 3, 2014 by Khiri Travel | Filed Under: ,

PCHUM BEN

In Cambodia, Pchum Ben or Ancestors Day, is a 15-day religious festival, which culminates in a celebration on the 15th day of the tenth month in the Khmer calendar, roughly mid September on the modern calendar. The day is a time for Cambodians to pay their respects to deceased relatives from the past seven generations. That’s a lot of relatives! Monks will chant Buddhist scriptures in Pali, often overnight and continuously without sleeping in a prelude to the gates of hell opening. The ritual originates from the Pali canon, the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism. Offerings in temple entrances as well as at shrines in the family home are made to the ancestors and monks to generate merit that indirectly benefits the dead.

In many temples, however, this is either accompanied by or superseded by food offerings that are imagined to directly transfer from the living to the dead, such as rice-balls thrown through the air, or rice thrown into an empty field. It stems from the idea of feeding the ghosts with physical food.

Pchum Ben is considered unique to Cambodia; however, there are comparable merit-transference ceremonies in other countries like Sri Lanka and Laos.

For more information on the festival and travel arrangements for your clients, please visit [email protected].

Latest post

Siem Reap’s World of Art, Fashion and Designers

Khiri Travel’s art and artisan tour provides visitors with exclusive insight into Siem Reap’s art world.

Read More

Khiri Travel Appointed Official Travel Partner of Luang Prabang Film Festival

Khiri Travel has been appointed the Official Travel Partner of this year’s Luang Prabang Film Festival

Read More

On Stage in Myanmar: Thingyan Water Festival

Thingyan is the name for Water Festival in Myanmar. Celebrated in mid-April, the Water Festival marks the beginning of the Buddhist New Year.

Read More

Chiang Rai’s Wondrous White Temple Sanctuary

A living work of art Wat Rong Khun better known to visitors as the ‘White Temple’ combines traditional Buddhist and modern design concepts, making it a truly fascinating attraction for visitors.

Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our B2B newsletters are for industry professionals




*We’ll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time.