Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - On Meak Bochea Day, PM hails impact of Buddhism

On Meak Bochea Day, PM hails impact of Buddhism

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Meak Bochea is celebrated atop Preah Reach Trop Mountain in Kampong Speu’s Oudong district on Tuesday. Hong Menea

On Meak Bochea Day, PM hails impact of Buddhism

Prime Minister Hun Sen took to Facebook on Tuesday – Meak Bochea Day, an important festival in Buddhism – to hail the benefits the state religion brings to Cambodia.

“Buddhism not only helps Cambodian people live together spiritually and peacefully, it also plays a role in strengthening order, stability and development, and preserves national identity,” the prime minister said.

He reminded followers that Meak Bochea Day celebrates the day Buddha declared the creation of “Buddhism” in 588BC on the day of a full moon, symbolising the end of the Hindu calendar month Magha – or Meak in Khmer – after being enlightened for nine months.

On Tuesday, thousands of laypeople and devotees from Kandal, Kampong Speu and Kampong Chhnang provinces and Phnom Penh gathered at Preah Reach Trop mountain in Kandal province to celebrate Meak Bochea Day.

Ministry of Religions and Cults spokesman Seng Somony said Heng Samrin, the president of the National Assembly, the Supreme Patriarch and other top monks, government officials and the Japanese Ambassador were also present at the Meak Bochea ceremony.

Somony said between 30,000 to 50,000 people attended the event at the “Royal Mountain” in Kandal province’s Oudong district.

Somony said Buddhism plays an important role in the lives of Cambodians, especially instruction from monks in gaining virtue.

“With Buddhism, monks and laypeople have contributed to Cambodia’s social development,” he said.

‘Avoid bad deeds’

Oudong district police chief Khim Samon said ceremonies to mark Meak Bochea Day were expanded this year.

“People come from [as far as] Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu provinces."

“This year, it was a bit different because in Oudong district, every pagoda celebrated the event, while in previous years we held it only at the Royal Mountain,” he said.

Venerable Kou Sopheap, a professor at Pannasastra University of Cambodia, said the youth were paying more attention to Buddhism than previously, especially on Meak Bochea Day and Visak Bochea Day (Buddha’s birthday).

“The principles of Buddhism inform us to avoid committing bad deeds, which lead to problems for the family and society. If many bad deeds are committed, we cannot live happily and peacefully,” he said.


  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • Shanxi wins bid to build sections of new Siem Reap airport

    Shanxi Mechanization Construction Group recently won the bid to build two sections of the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport project in Cambodia for 290 million yuan ($42.16 million). The existing Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap, 5km from the famous ancient temple complex and world tourism

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Breaking: Rubbish found packed inside 83 containers at S'ville port

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said