mps-336 BON KATHEN is the annual ceremony in which the laities give clothing to Buddhist monks at each pagoda. It occurs around the month of October or November. Formerly, the clothes made by the givers (laities).The time of 3 months of­ “Rainy season ceremony” has finished, the time of KATHEN is coming, because these two ceremonies have relationship to each other in Buddhism.

In picture: My Mother, in the middle. My Aunty, the right one

KATHEN has held for 29 days from the first day of waning moon of Assuj (11th month of the lunar calendar, corresponding to September-October) to the fifteenth day of waxing moon of Kattika (12th month of the lunar calendar, corresponding to October-November).KATHEN TEAN mean: cotton clothes annually given by the laity to the Bhikkhus for the purpose of making robes. In the present, KATHEN is not only refers to the robes or clothes, but it refers to other things and amount of money for construct buildings in pagoda or school.

The particular points of the KATHEN (differences from other ceremonies)

– Limited time for holding the ceremony (from the first day of waning moon of Assuj to the fifteenth day of waxing moon of Kattika).

– The both of the organizers and the receivers of this ceremony get five
merits which other ceremonies only the organizers of the ceremony who get the merit.

. For Bhikkhus (receivers) get five merits within five months as follows:
anamantacaro (Bhikkhu can go any where without telling to the other
Bhikkhus), asamadanacaro (Bhikkhus can go any where without taking
Tricivara with him), kanabhojanam (Bhikkhus, who serve the foods can
call the name of those foods), yavadatthacivaram (Bhikkhus can keep or
use the civara without vikabba and adhitdhana) and yo catattha
civarubbado so ne sam bhavissati (civaras happened in that avasa, will
be for those bhikkhus).

. For laity or donor gets five merits too as follows: susanthanara (have
complete organs), surubata (good looking or handsome), suvannata
(good color), adhibaccambarivaro (have many servants) and susurata
(have a sweet sound).

– The person who makes the right clothing will avoid to be born in all 4 places: ghosts, evils, hells, wild animals. It means that the organizers of this ceremony will be born in the rich families.

– Only the Bhikkhus who held the rainy season ceremony for 3 months that can receive the clothes of the KATHEN.

– Each pagoda can receive KATHEN once a year, but more than one organizer or donor in the same time.

However, the technology is improving in the world, but Khmer Buddhists still hold this ceremony every year. They believe that the organizers of KATHEN in the present always receive back the good results both for the society and Buddhism. For the Buddhism: they can receive the merits more than other ceremonies and make developments. For the society: will have many generous men to help the others. This makes society safer and developer.