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.