A little after noon on the day of the celebrration, a procession of mostly older Khmers came toward the pagoda. The procession was led by a handful of folks playing percussion instruments, the most notable being a man who banged away at a cowbell-sounding thing while dancing a freestyle jig. Behind the musicians came several women with ornate costumes and golden hats; other folks carrying two-foot-tall tree ornaments, paper money hanging from their branches; and others carrying gold and yellow umbrellas.
As the procession came to the pagoda, it began to move clockwise around the building. Numerous onlookers joined the procession, including Jen and I. Soon, there were hundreds of people walking around the pagoda. The sounds of the musicians merged with the loudpeaker-projected pronouncements of someone inside the pagoda. It was cacophonous.
Click the player below to hear a sound clip.