Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ceremony to go on sans urn

Ceremony to go on sans urn

Visitors look up at a stupa on Oudong mountain in December last year
Visitors look up at a stupa on Oudong mountain in December last year. Heng Chivoan

Ceremony to go on sans urn

Hundreds of monks will observe Meak Bochea Day on Kandal province’s Oudong mountain today, the first time the ceremony will take place in the absence of an urn said to contain relics of the Buddha since it was brought to the stupa in 2002.

High-ranking parliamentarians will also join the festivities, which is a public holiday in many Buddhist nations intended to remind followers of the Buddha’s teachings.

Police officials and representatives of the sangha yesterday said that the urn, which was stolen on December 10, will remain at the Royal Palace until work had been completed to repair a leaky roof at the stupa that used to house the priceless artefact.

Khim Sorn, Phnom Penh municipal director of monks, said yesterday that nearly 600 monks will attend the event at Oudong mountain today.

“At least one representative from the Royal Palace will attend with 80 senior monks and all of the public are welcome to join this ceremony together,” he said, adding that a “water leak” was being fixed at the site where the urn would be kept.

Oum Daravuth, a member of the Royal Palace cabinet, said yesterday that “our King holds the ceremony of Meak Bochea every year at the Royal Palace, just to pray to the Buddha and offer food to monks.”

He added that he did not know when the urn will be taken back to Oudong.

Eav Chamroeung, Kandal provincial police chief, said that “to tell you the truth, the relic will not yet to go to Oudong, because inside the stupa needs to be renovated”.

Sorn said that the ceremony could go ahead without the urn, which was one of the central components of the event in previous years.

“We prayed to five things [in the past]. Although there’s no relics at Oudong anymore, we still can hold this ceremony, because the day is important for two reasons,” he said.

“First is to remember the 1,250 disciples of Buddha who visited Buddha without any prior appointment, to listen to his last sermon. Second, it’s the day Buddha announced his passing.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the