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Today sees a full moon, Valentine’s Day and Meak Bochea: an important date in the Buddhist calendar. Full moon days are always revered in Buddhism and Meak Bochea commemorates the day Buddha predicted and announced the date he would attain enlightenment and enter into nirvana.

W1206 Oudong

Devout Buddhists will head to their local pagoda for merit making and reaffirm their spiritual commitments – not to commit sins, to do good and to purify one’s mind.

W1208 Oudong

The most important Meak Bochea celebration in Cambodia is held at the former royal capital, Udong which is located about 40km from Phnom Penh. Incense will be lit and rites performed amongst the hillside stupas.  Elsewhere, monks will gather at pagodas to pray and remind visitors about Buddha’s teachings.

X674 Koh Okngar Tei 7 Apr 2012

And the most important date in the Buddhist calendar? That comes in three months time with Visak Bochea – the Buddha correctly predicted he would pass away and enter nirvana. More about that at the appropriate time…