OUDONG, Cambodia – Crowds of Cambodians gathered on Wednesday at a religious site in Oudong to celebrate the national Buddhist holiday of Meak Bochea.
Since early Wednesday morning about 300 Buddhist monks and around 1,500 laypeople – including some politicians – assembled at the foot of Mount Oudong to pray, an epa journalist reported.
Following the prayer ceremonies, attendees gave offerings including fruit, food and money to the monks.
After the event finished people returned to their homes, most of which are in nearby villages, while others returned to Phnom Penh about 40 kilometers away.
Oudong carries great significance for Cambodians as it is not only the former royal capital but also a UNESCO World Heritage site and the location of a Buddhist stupa which is on top of the mountain.
The Meak Bochea festivities on Wednesday were smaller compared to previous years, when more people attended and the ceremonies included marches accompanied by music around Mount Oudong.
Meak Bochea goes by different names in other Asian countries where Theravada Buddhism is practiced, such as Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Sri Lanka, and lands on the day of the full moon.