Pchum Ben is a religious event which is celebrated for fifteen days. During these fifteen days, Buddhist followers never missed going to pagodas in order to pray food for their ancestors with the believed that spirits will come to receive the offerings. Pchum Ben is not celebrated only in the morning where people go to the pagoda to pray food but people also go to pagoda before sunrise (2:00am to 5:00am) to throw Bay Ben- a kind of sticky rice mixed with bean and other ingredients- for spirits. Thus, spirits will bless them in return. There are many small stories about Pchum Ben yet we will only summarize what you may not know about this festival.
1. Time to Offer Food
Basically, you can pray food to monks twice a day, early in the morning (5:00am or 6:00am for breakfast) and before 11:00am because monks are allowed to have lunch at 11 o’clock only and there is no dinner. You can also buy instance noodle, mackerel in tomato sauce, mineral water, milk as the offerings.
2. Go to Pagoda with Pure Heart
There is a believed stated that “During these fifteen days, go to seven pagodas, at least. Otherwise, your ancestors will give you bad luck.” However, if you cannot go to at least seven pagodas, don’t be panic. One pagoda is also enough if you go with good intention and to pray for your long-lost ancestors. Pure hearted is counted.
3. Throw Bay Ben
Throwing Bay Ben is not a Buddhism festival; it happened long before Pchum Ben was celebrated. Since the purpose of throwing Bay Ben and Pchum Ben are aligned; that’s why people celebrated them together. If you want to throw Bay Ben, you need to wake up early and prepare Bay Ben. When you arrived pagoda, you will need to listen to monk’s advice before be able to throw Bay Ben. You can choose not to join if you think it is wasted.
Latest posts by Chhay Kimhorng (see all)
- Things You Don’t Know About Pchum Ben - September 30, 2016
- A Beautiful Quiet Island: Koh Trong Travel Guide - August 31, 2016
- 3 Foods Reviews from Dim Sum Emperor Restaurant in Cambodia - August 22, 2016