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Lenten ceremony

Lenten ceremony

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lenten.jpg

Two monks at Wat Preak Bonkong in Chrouy Changvar absolve each other of sin, while three others pray, in a ceremony on July 14 to mark the beginning of Choul Preah Vasar, the Buddhist Lent.

Two monks at Wat Preak Bonkong in Chrouy Changvar absolve each other of sin, while

three others pray, in a ceremony on July 14 to mark the beginning of Choul Preah

Vasar, the Buddhist Lent.

Lasting from the start of the wet season in mid-Ashatha, the eighth month of the

Khmer Lunar calendar, to mid-Assuch, the 11th month, Choul Preah Vasar is seen as

an important part of the Buddha's teachings for two main reasons: the rainy season

is essential to the growing of crops, especially rice, and is also the time when

small creatures flourish on the land. Monks' movements are restricted during the

festival to symbolize the value of flora and fauna-creatures will not be accidentally

stepped on and harmed.

Monks are still allowed to leave the pagoda, but must return home at night, says

monk Sem Saroeun.

Ceremonies are essential to the study of Dharma-the divine law. Saroeun says monks

are able to use Lent to study further.

During Lent the monks do not need to go from house to house seeking alms. Instead,

the devout bring food to the pagoda. Monks are also expected to pray twice a day,

at sunrise and sundown for the duration.

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