Do you know that the biggest festival in Cambodia takes place over a 15-day period?
The longest celebration in Cambodia, Pchum Ben, lasts for 15 days and is followed by three days of vacation. In Cambodia, it has historically been a tradition to honor departed family members with special Khmer sticky rice cakes, meals, and beverages, along with a Buddhist monk.
According to the Buddhist holy calendar, which Cambodians follow, the celebration begins on the first of the monsoon season’s midpoint in September or October and finishes on the 15th of the full moon.
Pchum Ben means that everyone is gathering and bringing their food for the Buddhist monk and dedicated to the people who died to wish them a better way.
Even Buddhists and Hindus who practice traditional Khmer faith think that there is a hell and a heaven where they will be judged by the Yama God who has left the cave of the bas relief at Angkor Wat Temple.
On the 1 st of Pchum Ben Day at the Buddhist pagoda, the monk, the priest and the nun give a speech and advice in Buddhism and give Bai Ben early every morning at 4-5am. This activity will be dedicated to the Prat (People who pass away and stay in hell) to stay in peace and get the newborn. The Monk and priest will bless to everyone in the Sanskrit speech and eat their food at the end of the ceremony.
They are going to do this until the end of the Pchum Ben day of day 15 th on the full moon day. During the last 3 days of Pchum Ben day, the people make a special khmer cake called Num Ansom, Num Korm, Num Thmei that are only made during the Pchum Ben Festival as dedicated to God in Hinduism and Buddhism.
The young people of Cambodia are encouraged to participate in this largest event each year and promote Buddhism throughout the world. As young Cambodians, we are very grateful of our ancestors for having preserved this meaning of special occasion festivals to recognize Cambodians as active members of the country’s religious culture.
This is the last long memory of a Cambodian who realises the uniqueness of their belief and keeps it in their heart and speaks to their next generation of people.