Pchum Ben Day
Pchum Ben, founded during the dawn of Angkor, still casts a strong influence over today’s post-modern generation.
For fifteen days a year, the tormented spirits of the departed swarm silently into Cambodia’s Buddhist monasteries. The dead are here to search for their surviving kin who, by committing simple acts of kindness, can free them from the cycle of perpetual suffering.
Pchum Ben, the Khmer festival of the dead, has been an integral part of the Cambodian calendar for millennia. Now, senior members of the Buddhist order suggest it’s experiencing a renaissance: the number of teens and twenty-somethings making the annual pilgrimage to their local pagodas is, apparently, on the rise.