Similar to how Pitru Paksha is observed in Hinduism, the Buddhists mark Pchum Ben or Ancestor’s Day which falls during their holy month 'Pheakta Bot.' The fifteenth day of Khmer is called the Pchum Ben and is celebrated as a special occasion to remember and offer prayers for the souls of our ancestors. The entire fortnightly period is followed by praying respect to the departed souls of family members.
Pchum Ben Date 2023
Buddhists living in Cambodia celebrate it with grandeur. The initial fourteen days of the religious month are termed 'Kan Ben' which leads to the most unique festival celebration 'Pchum Ben.' In 2023, the day falls on October 13. People pay respects to their deceased family members and relatives of up to seven generations.
Pchum Ben Rituals
Rituals of this festival or similar to the Shradh period of Hindu devotees. Rice plays an important role in food offerings. Interestingly, the celebration gets its name from 'Ben' in the Khmer language meaning a cup of cooked rice. Meanwhile, the term 'Phchum' is said to mean 'to meet.' Thus, one of the key observances during Phchum Ben is collecting cooked rice, meeting monks, and offering it to them with devotion. It is believed that this ritual brings peace to the soul and blessings to the doer and their dear ones.