Meak Bochea Holiday Observed at Oudong

Thousands of people flocked to Oudong mountain in Kandal province on Friday to observe Meak Bochea Day, which marks the day the Buddha prophesied his own death.

While the religious festival usually takes place at Oudong because it is home to the relics of the Buddha, this year the relics were not there, having just been recovered after being stolen in December.

They are currently at the Royal Palace. Mey Limhav, director at the Ponhea Leu district department of cults and religion, said about 4,000 people had still turned out to the ceremony, including Royal Palace Minister Kong Sam Ol and provincial officials.

“Both great supreme patriarchs [of the Mohanikaya and Dhammayudh sects of Buddhism] Tep Vong and Bou Kry…went to join the ceremony,” he added.

Three hundred monks were in attendance and received food from the festival-goers, he said. In December, an urn containing relics of the Buddha was stolen from a stupa at Oudong.

It was recovered earlier this month, and a number of arrests have been made in connection with the theft.

© 2014, All rights reserved.