The summer retreat has an important meaning for Khmer monks and lay Buddhists. According to the Buddhist tradition, the Retreat is often held in the rainy season. During the annual summer retreat, Khmer monks gather at pagodas for Buddhist studies and practice together for spiritual development and enlightenment
The summer retreat is also a favorite occasion for young Khmer Buddhists to enter pagodas for studying and practicing Buddhism, so as to pay debts of gratitude to the parents.
During the reatreat, lay Khmer Buddhists often offers large candle sticks to pagodas for making merits and praying for peace, prosperity and happiness in the family.
This year, many Khmer pagodas in Soc Trang, including Serey Ta Mon Pagoda managed by Ven. Abbot Trần Văn Tha in Tran De District, have asked lay Buddhists not to offer too many candles, especially big candle sticks, in order to save money for more practical purposes, such as building cultural facilities within pagodas, and to avoid fire risks.