Phnom Penh, 11 October 2022 (TDI): The annual festival of Kathina will begin today in Cambodia. It is the biggest Buddhist festival which is celebrated for a whole month every year in the country.
The Kathina Festival
The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in many countries and regions of Asia, such as Southeastern Bangladesh, Southern China, Northern India, Northern Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
The word “Kathina” originated from Pali and it means a piece of cloth or shivara.
Kathina is a Buddhist Sangha ritual, performed after the rains end; at the conclusion of the monsoon.
Kathina is a special cloth called a robe that Buddhist monks use during their worship and daily life. Followers and religious people of Buddhism donate these clothes to the monks, who did not leave their Pagoda (Worship Place) to collect alms for three months.
Kathina is considered a very special occasion, so a monastery can perform it only once for a certain period of time.
This Festival can be performed only in a particular month. Every year, the Kathina festival starts after 15 days after the Pchum Ben Festival. Subsequently, it lasts for about a month after the full moon of the eleventh month in the Lunar calendar.
Cause of solidarity and brotherhood
During these 29 days, rich and poor people of Cambodia give donations to the monks in the form of money or material things. These donations are given to monks as a reward for their achievements within their Pagoda communities.
Moreover, this festival promotes love, brotherhood, and solidarity among people from all walks of life. Buddhists believe that Kathina Supports Buddhism and promotes the cause of Buddhism.
According to the World Factbook, 97 percent of the population in Cambodia is Buddhist.
In addition, a large number of Buddhists from all over the world travel to Cambodia to participate in the festival.
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