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Chum Bennh, or Ancestors Day

Last week our Cambodian colleagues celebrated the beginning of Chum Bennh, or Ancestors Day, the most important holiday in Cambodia after the Khmer New Year. They celebrated at Angkor Wat with a small party before having three days off to worship their ancestors with their families. The calling of the spirits of the ancestors takes place at pagodas and temples and begins every morning at 4 a.m. for the duration of the holiday period, which is about two weeks. Toward the end of this period, small sticky rice balls are offered to the spirits of the ancestors and deposited at the temples and pagodas.