“Pchum Ben” Festival or the Festival for the Dead, which is the second biggest festival for the Cambodian people in the entire country after the “Chaul Chhnam Thmei” (Khmer New Year), will be celebrated this week, from Oct. 5 to 7.
In fact, the whole festival lasts 15 days. During the first 14 days, called Kan Ben, people or villagers take turns to offer food to monks in nearby pagodas in hope that the offerings will reach the souls of their ancestors by virtue of the Buddhist monk sermons.
But the most important is the last day of the Pchum Ben, which fall this year on Oct. 6, on which all Cambodian Buddhist followers, the rich as well as the poor, manage to prepare food and other offerings for their visits to pagodas.
This year, due to potential COVID-19 threat, the Royal Government has cancelled the celebration of Kan Ben and Pchum Ben. However, having three days off is still allowed among all public and private workers.
Yesterday, the government issued a directive encouraging the ministries-institutions and private sector, especially factories-enterprises and businesses with a lot of staff as well as educational institutions to conduct rapid testing for COVID-19 among their workers-employees and staff after the Pchum Ben holiday.
The directive also called for the enforcement of the health safety rules particularly the “3 Don’ts, 3 Dos” as well as the necessary administrative and legal measures.
At the same time, tourism safety measures and minimum Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for tourism services-related businesses guided by the Ministry of Tourism must be tightened, it added.
Moreover, the directive urged all citizens to fully comply with the health safety rules and respect the administrative and legal measures aiming to protect their own safety as well as that of their family members from COVID-19.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press