Sek Yeam, 67, buys ansom chrouk, a traditional rice cake at O’russei Market on Sunday.
Ansom chrouk, a Khmer rice cake, is made throughout the 15 days leading up to P'Chum Ben. On Sunday, many Cambodians took the cakes to their local pagoda as a gift for the monks to mark the first day of P'Chum Ben. Over the next few weeks, devotees will flock to pagodas in the early hours of each morning to offer food to the spirits of their deceased relatives.
Circling the pagoda three times, believers throw handfuls of food as they walk while monks chant prayers for the dead. Devout Buddhists believe that if they do not bring food for their ancestors to seven pagodas during P'Chum Ben, they will be cursed with bad luck. Celebrations will culminate on September 28, 29 and 30. TRACEY SHELTON