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The Autumnal Equinox Will Occur Tomorrow, 22 September

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PHNOM PENH: The second equinox of the year, the Autumnal Equinox, will occur tomorrow, Thursday, 22 September. In Cambodia, during the equinox, temple goers are in for a treat as they can witness the heavenly sight of the sun rising directly above the central peak of Angkor Wat.

Archaeologist and Director of the APSARA Authority’s Department of Research, Training, and Dissemination, Im Sokrithy, said that at 6:30 am on 22 September, the sun will rise directly atop the central peak of Angkor Wat.

On a less positive note, it appears that unfavorable weather conditions this week, may mean that temple goers will not be able to see this sunrise event in clear skies like usual.

The equinox signifies when when day and night are approximately equal in length, and takes place twice a year. The Spring Equinox occurred in March.

In addition, this September's equinox event coincides with the time when the Khmer people are following the tradition of throwing ‘Bai Ben,’ which are small molded balls of rice, to help evil spirits become reborn as human beings. This is following the K279 inscription from the end of the 9th century, which states that ‘Bai Ben’ can be thrown during the night of an equinox. ‘Bai Ben’ is most commonly thrown during the Pchum Ben festival. 

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