The Cambodian public holiday called “Visak Bochea Day” is held on the full moon of the sixth month of the Buddhist lunar calendar – normally some time in May on the Gregorian Calendar. Visak Bochea celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death (nirvana) of Buddha.
Many Cambodian Buddhists visit local temples and shrines to celebrate on this day. They will spend much of the day thinking about Buddha and his teachings. Many also bring food, candles, and flowers to monks at monasteries to give them as gifts. The monks chant from Buddhist scriptures, teach on the ways of Buddha, and lead people in meditations.
Other traditions for celebrating Visak Bochea Day include giving statues of Buddha “a bath”, cleaning up homes and city streets, decorating public and private places with flowers and with “the Buddhist flag”, and circling Buddha statues at night while holding candles.