09/28/2011 11:41 am ET Updated Nov 28, 2011

Cambodia's Festival Of Death: Wrestling, Buffalo Racing, Horse Riding (PHOTOS)

Tuesday marked the end of the Festival of Death in Cambodia, a 15-day celebration that culminated in water buffalo riding, horse racing and traditional Khmer wrestling in Vihear Suor village about 30 miles from the capital city of Phnom Penh.

Thousands of Cambodians attend the Pchum Ben festival in Vihear Suor every year, as others celebrate across the country.

The festival is less morbid than the name might indicate: Rather than glorify death, it's a time of remembrance and celebration of ancestors, who are an integral part of daily Cambodian life. Even the country's monks are in on the celebrations during Pchum Ben.

The 15-day Festival of Death event ends with a water buffalo race, with riders and animals alike clad in traditional costumes. The easiest way to Vihear Suor? Simply hiring a taxi in Phnom Penh for the 30-mile drive northeast.

Cambodia Festival Of Death