Meak Bochea Day in Cambodia

Meak Bochea Day in Cambodia

Meak Bochea Day is an important religious ceremony in Cambodia. It is celebrated on the full moon in the third month of the Khmer calendar, Magha which generally falls in late February or early March.

The purposes of this ceremony are the remembrance of Buddha's recently became "Enlightened" day and Buddha's Death day.

The Meak Bochea Day commemorates the final sermon given by Buddha, in which he summarized the "heart of Buddhism" in three principles: ceasing from all evil, doing only what is good, and cleansing the mind. The group that assembled that day, around 2,500 years ago now, became the first Sangha, and their work continues today.

Those who listen to the Buddha's preaching are sometimes called the "fourfold assembly" because of the four factors that were in place: the 1,250 listeners were all "enlightened ones," they were all ordained by the Buddha himself, they came, according to their tradition, without being invited, and it was a full moon in the month of Magha.

Many people go to local temples and pagodas on this day and need to remember to do good deeds as a way of honoring the Buddha. They also try to cleanse their minds, stay away from sinful behavior, and obey the Buddha’s commands. These commands include not drinking alcohol, not killing, stealing, or lying. People who have broken these precepts will try to get forgiveness on Meak Bochea day.


People normally pray, meditate, marching​ the Bodhi Tree led by the monks with hands holding flowers, incense, and candles. Monks Pray and Say the Dharma before the Budhi Trees. The last thing to do is to pay deep respect and spray perfume on Buddha statues, offering flowers, etc.

You can join this celebration at any nearby pagodas by following what the locals do. Just respect the locals and their traditions and be open to learning new things then you're good to go. If you can, follow the five rules:

1. Avoid taking life, killing animals...
2. Avoid taking what is not given, stealing...
3. Avoid the misuse of the senses
4. Avoid the wrong speech like lying or gossiping
5. Avoid intoxicants that cloud the mind, no alcohol and drugs...

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