Cambodia celebrates Ancestors' Day after COVID-19 situation eases

A woman places flowers in front of Buddha statues during the Pchum Ben festival (Festival of Death) at a pagoda in Phnom Penh on September 17, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
  • Xinhua
  • September 17, 2020 9:27 AM

PHNOM PENH-- Buddhists in Cambodia on Wednesday began to celebrate the three-day traditional the Pchum Ben festival, or Ancestors' Day, after the COVID-19 situation in the kingdom has been brought under control.

During the celebrations, Buddhism followers go to pagodas and make offerings to monks in order to dedicate to their relatives and loved ones who had passed away.

Buddhists believe that everything they offer to the monks will reach their dead ancestors or relatives and in return, the dead will bless them with good luck.

Buddhists account for over 90 percent of the kingdom's population of more than 15 million, according to the Ministry of Cults and Religions.

Health Ministry's secretary of state and spokeswoman Or Vandine on Wednesday urged the pagoda goers to remain cautious about COVID-19 although the virus is under control in the kingdom.

"On behalf of the Ministry of Health, I'd like to call on all people, including monks and nuns at pagodas, to keep on following prevention measures set out by the ministry in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to communities," she said.

The festival goers should wear face masks, wash hands with alcohol frequently and keep social distancing, Vandine said.

According to the spokeswoman, the Southeast Asian nation has recorded a total of 275 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, with no deaths and 274 patients cured.

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