At the end of September, Cambodian people celebrate the festival of Pchum Ben. Besides Khmer New Year in April, Pchum Ben is the most important holiday in the Cambodian religious calendar.
The ceremony lasts a total of 15 days, the last three of which are national holidays. The festival is a time to honor one’s ancestors. Families gather at pagodas and offer food and prayers to their ancestors’ spirits, which saves them from bad karma. Through these traditions, families help their deceased ancestors pass on to a better life as well as ensure they don’t get cursed by evil spirits.