Cambodia festival to 'bless the spirits'

15th Jul 2013

This autumn, holidaymakers can enjoy one of the most culturally significant festivals and events in Cambodia - one dedicated to blessing the spirits of the dead.

The 15-day Pchum Ben Day - or All Souls Day - usually runs from the end of September into October.

Religious visitors on tailor-made holidays will be treated to the colourful sight of pagodas being packed with people taking their turn to make offerings and to beseech monks to pray for their late loved ones.

Each family visits their preferred temple and offers food to not only the holymen, but to feed hungry 'ghosts' who could be their late ancestors, relatives or friends.

These food offerings are considered to be a commendable act, and one that is among the oldest and most regular rituals of Buddhism.

Several households stay behind at the temple to hear Buddhist sermons.

The precise date changes year to year, depending on the lunar calendar.

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