Festival of the Dead

There's nothing like waking up at 4:30 every morning to the sound of crazy music and chanting. Oh, the joys of living next door to a temple. Such is my life for the next two weeks, as it is Pchum Ben.

The holiday, which is similar to what we know as All Saints Day, began this week. It's the "Festival of the Dead" where Buddhists make daily trips to the wats to make offerings to their dead ancestors in order to ease their present suffering. Bandol, who believes that Buddhism is the number one thing hurting Cambodia, rolls his eyes at this ritual, but it's one of the biggest holidays celebrated here.

The festival commences at the end of the month in 4-day weekend. I'm going to take the opportunity to jet off to Vietnam for a bit before the crazy month of October begins.

If I think about it as I'm groggily aroused from my slumber, I'll record my lovely wake-up call for you. If I'm even more daring, I'll try to sneak around to the temple to snap some pictures at what the commotion is all about. In the meantime, maybe this picture from AnkorGuides.com can give us all an idea of what is going on behind wat walls. (Looks delicious, eh?)

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