Phnom Penh (dpa) – Thousands of monks lined up outside Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace early Wednesday morning to celebrate King Norodom Sihamoni’s service to Buddhism.
The ceremony was attended by Cambodia’s highest ranking monks, as well as Prime Minister Hun Sen.
It commemorated an award issued to the king by the Sixth Buddhist summit held in Japan in December 2014, where he spoke as guest of honour. The king also received accolades from the Ministry of Cults and Religion.
Phnom Penh-based monk Som Sokaa said as many as “10,000 monks” showed up for the occasion, a number also repeated by a local police officer.
The monks were joined by civilian well-wishers, many of whom were turned out for the occasion in traditional Khmer clothing.
Prayers were followed by a marching band and parade that included a golden float bearing two senior monks and an enlarged copy of the award.
Theravada Buddhism is the state religion of Cambodia, and is practised by 90 per cent of the population.