Cambodian Buddhists march to mark Buddha's day

Xinhua, May 18, 2011

Phnom Penh, Cambodia -- Thousands of Buddhists and Buddhist monks on Tuesday morning marched around Preah Reach Trap Mountain, where the relics of Buddha are housed, in order to mark Visak Bochea's day, or Buddha's day.

In Cambodia, the Buddha's relics are housed at the cliff of Preah Reach Trap Mountain, located in Kampong Speu province's Oddong district, some 40 kilometers north of Phnom Penh.

The event was also attended by the President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin and Deputy Prime Minister Kong Sam Ol, minister of the royal palace.

Visak Bochea day is the anniversary of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death; it's a religious holiday in Cambodia.

During the event, participants had brought praying stuff such as candles, incense sticks, flowers to pray to the Lord Buddha and offered foods and cash donations to about 800 Buddhist monks in order to dedicate to their ancestors.

In a related event later in the day, 2,600 Buddhist monks marched in Phnom Penh to mark the day. The procession had been participated by Deputy Prime Ministers Yim Chhay Ly and Man Sam An as well as thousands of Buddhists.

Buddhism is the state religion in Cambodia. About 90 percent of the country's 14.3 million people are Buddhists.

According to the figure of the Ministry of Cults and Religion, the country has approximately 4,400 Buddhist pagodas with more than 50,000 monks.