Mass Ordination Held at Angkor

About 540 people including youths of both sexes and elderly people were ordained at Wat Preah In Tep, near Bayon temple. Photo_ Zul Rorvy



SIEM REAP – A mass ordination ceremony has been held at Angkor Park to mark Vesak Day and to educate people through Buddha’s teachings.



About 540 people including youths of both sexes and elderly people were ordained at Wat Preah In Tep, near Bayon temple. This is the 12th year that Siem Reap city’s monk council held such a large ordination. 



The ceremony aimed to educate young people, particularly in the Buddhist way, to pay tribute to parents, the nation, the religion, the King, and to celebrate Vesak Day — one of the most important events in Buddhism to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and passing of Buddha. This year Vesak Day falls on May 22.



“The main purpose is to provide opportunities for young men and women to be ordained for a short period, to introduce Buddhist theories to them, and to mark Vesak Day,” Thoeun Vuthy, co-founder of the program, said.



60 percent of participant were female. Photo: Zul Rorvy



Vuthy said this year’s ordination saw more participants than in any other year. As of the afternoon of May 18, there were more than 540 participants, of whom about 60 percent were female, he said.



During the ceremony, people gathered at the compound of Wat Preah in Tep. Some were parents who brought their children to be ordained. Many were returnees, mostly young people and children. At around 4pm, the monks performed a hair-shaving ceremony for the male participants. This is a long-standing Khmer tradition that is always celebrated before ordination.



As part of tradition in Khmer culture, a son has to become a monk whether in the long run or for a short period of time to pay gratitude to their parents while the daughters who reach puberty must go through ‘Chol Mlob’ or coming of age during which they must be confined to a room to educate themselves, train their manners and behavior and learn household works.



Thoeun Vuthy is co-founder of the ordination program. Photo: Zul Rorvy



After the hair-shaving ceremony, participants and those attending the ceremony made a trip around the Bayon temple, followed by chai yam music before being ordained inside the pagoda.



The newly ordained monks and white robed nuns were introduced to rules for them to follow during their monkhood. 








Related Articles