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Monks offer New Year blessing

Monks offer New Year blessing

ABOUT 100 monks from Kandal province’s Khsach Kandal district went from village to village on Sunday blessing residents and homes with water as part of an annual tradition marking the end of Khmer New Year.

Lon Sokunthea, the head monk at the pagoda on Svay Chrum commune, said the ritual is intended to ensure the new year is a good one.

“The people believe that when the monks bless the villages with water, the ghosts and other evil spirits will be expelled from the villages, and then they will meet happiness,” he said.

He added that although in some other provinces the ritual is carried out just before Khmer New Year, in Kandal the monks always make their tour following the conclusion of the three-day holiday.

Um Vuthy, a resident of Svay Chrum village, said the ritual provided an opportunity for families to give monks food and money before Vesak Bochea, which marks the beginning of a three-month period in which monks are unable to request alms.

This year, Vesak Bochea falls on April 28.

“It is very important for us to distribute the food supplies and funding to the monks,” he said.