Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pchum Ben suspended amid Covid concerns

Pchum Ben suspended amid Covid concerns

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Buddhists offer alms to monks on the first day of the 15-day Pchum Ben festival at Wat Langkar in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

Pchum Ben suspended amid Covid concerns

The government has ordered a suspension of Pchum Ben, effective from September 25, to contain the spread of Covid-19 after dozens of cases have been detected in some pagodas in the first two days of the 15-day festival.

Pchum Ben kicked off on September 22 and will run through October 5.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a decision dated September 23 that the first two days of the festival had seen large gatherings at pagodas, making it difficult for authorities to enforce health measures.

He said Cambodia could face a large-scale outbreak of Covid-19, especially its highly contagious Delta variant, if urgent measures were not taken.

“In order to contain Covid-19, especially to protect the lives and health of our people as the Kingdom is reopening schools and on the path towards full reopening of the country in the near future, the government has decided to suspend celebrations starting from the fourth day of the festival,” the letter read.

Nevertheless, the three-day Pchum Ben holiday for civil servants and employees in the private sector from October 5-7 will be maintained.

Cambodian Buddhists observe Pchum Ben for 15 days from September 22 to October 6, with the principal festivities celebrated from October 5-7, ending a day after the main day of “great offering”, or Ben Thom, on October 6 coinciding with the new moon. The holiday is dedicated to their ancestors and is an occasion for families to get together.

The prime minister instructed municipal and provincial authorities to assist Buddhist followers in offering alms to the monks at pagodas in territories under their jurisdiction.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the