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Health Ministry Issues Kan Ben, Pchum Ben Guidelines

Phnom Penh: 12 days before the start of the Kan Ben Festival, the Health Ministry has issued a string of guidelines to keep Cambodians safe. Kan Ben is a 15-day Buddhist festival, which culminates in the three-day national holiday of Pchum Ben. Tens of thousands of Cambodians will travel to their home provinces, and the Health Ministry wants that to be done as safely as possible.

“Celebrate the festival in a new normal way”. That’s the message from the Ministry of Health to Cambodians preparing to celebrate Kan Ben and Pchum Ben. Kan Ben will start on the 21st of September, with the three-day Pchum Ben holiday falling on the 5th, 6th and 7th of October.

The Ministry says as much as possible, celebrations should be held online, but if people choose to observe the festival in person, pagodas must have proper safety protocols in place, monitoring people coming into the premises. Temperatures must be checked and proper hand washing or sanitizing stations must be set up.

Travel is a huge part of Pchum Ben, particularly. The Ministry says people should choose the safest way possible to travel, maintaining a safe social distance in buses and leaving car windows open for proper ventilation. With food being at the centre of the festival, the Ministry has encouraged people to cook food properly, most especially meat and seafood.

The Health Ministry says while it recognizes that this is a precious time for Cambodians, protection against Covid-19 should still be prioritized. It doesn’t want to see any lives risked and the “3 do’s and 3 don’ts” strictly observed.

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