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Annual Kathina festival begins

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Colourfully dressed men and women lead a processing of Kathina contributors to a pagoda. Photo supplied

The annual Kathina Festival, one of the biggest Buddhist festivals in the Kingdom, started Saturday across the country and will last until Oct. 31.

The term “Kathina”, taken from Pali means pieces of cloth, or Chivara, Buddhist monks’ robes, offered by worshippers to the monks who did not leave their pagodas to collect alms as usual for three months (Chol Vossa or Rainy Retreat).

Every year, fifteen days after the Pchum Ben Festival (Festival for the Dead) succeeds the period of Kathina which lasts almost a month, from the first day of the waning moon of Assoch to the fifteenth day of the full moon of Kattik.

During this period of twenty-nine days, Cambodian people of all social backgrounds jointly contribute their donations, either in materials or cash, for the Buddhist monks to build achievements inside their respective pagodas or communities.

Overall, Kathina, celebrated every year throughout Cambodia, is a festival of solidarity between people from all walks of life. C. Nika

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