pchum ben...

cambodia01Prachum Benda, known colloquially as pchum ben, means, 'gathering together to make offerings'.

Pchum Ben, is the main Cambodian religious festival, culminating in celebrations on the 15th day of the tenth month in the Khmer Calendar.

Pchum ben combines Khmer and Cambodian Buddhist culture when over a period of 15 days (a half lunar cycle) Cambodians commemorate their ancestors, and the dead during the period known as kann ben, and culminating with the pchum ben. (In 2007 this was mid-October, in 2008 in late September).

Objectives of Pchum ben are:

1. to cleanse the mind of bad thoughts
2. to be kind to others
3. to pay tribute to ancestors and the elderly
4. to share food, especially with poor people
5. to join together and strengthen the community
6. to practice fraternity, compassion and respect
7. to celebrate nationhood