Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Pchum Ben!

Today is Pchum Ben, the big Cambodian holiday. On this day it is believed that the gates to Heaven and Hell are opened and ancestral spirits walk the earth. In reverence for the dead and in a symbolic gesture of care, everyone goes to their local pagoda (Buddhist temple) and offers vast quantities of food to the monks in an attempt to feed the spirits. Fun fact: apparently sticky rice is favored because people believe that it will stick to the mouths of the ghosts better than anything else. The monks diligently perform various ceremonial duties throughout the day.

I went to two different pagodas here in Phnom Penh to check out the fuss and try to capture the very festive feel of the holiday for ya'll. I must admit I am pretty disappointed with the video. The relationship between my camera and I is getting more and more strained as it continues to take craptastic photos (probably also to do with the person behind the lens but then again it's always easier to blame the technology). However, it is definitely worth the watch; the audio gives a great taste of the frenetic music that, with the incense smoke, wafted through town all day long.


E in Atlanta said...

Very nice! (Couldn't get video to play) but liked the pics! (Arent' you due for new camera?)

Steppe Up said...

I'll try to work on the video. When I first posted it, it was fine but now seems to have admitted defeat. Harrumph.

New camera yes! Can't wait!