Cambodian New Year – celebrate in true Khmer style!

While the western world welcomed the 2018 year 4 months ago and New Year celebrations have long passed, Cambodia is just getting ready for their big day.  Cambodian New Year (in Khmer language “Choul Chnam Thmey” meaning “Enter New Year”) is celebrated on April 14-16. 

Cambodian New Year is one of the most anticipated holidays for the locals. It is usually the end of harvesting season. This is the best time for farmers to step back from their work, relax and enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Cambodian New Year Traditions 

For three consecutive days the whole nation celebrates this holiday dressing in festive, colorful gowns and playing a lot of fun games. Each day has its own rituals, traditions, meaning and even name. Although the holiday is a happy period, there are several remarkable religious traditions to be followed, too. For instance during the holiday season it is customary to light candles and burn incense thus expressing their thankfulness to their religious leader. Another important tradition is washing their faces, chests and feet each in different times of the day.

On the second day people do charity projects helping the needy and the poor. On the third and final day, people mix water with perfume and wash the images of Buddha. This is a strict religious ritual symbolising washing away of evil deeds.

Alongside these rituals, locals also play a range of games. After all it wouldn’t be a celebration without some fun events too. Rather than standing and watching, best you get involved in the games. The memories will certainly be worth while! One of the most popular games is “Chab Kon Kleng”. This involves two people acting one like a hen, the other like a crow. The “crow” has to snatch the “chicks” away protected by the “hen”. One event that especially foreigners like to participate in is “Angkor Sankranti”. You will have a memorable and fantastic experience.

New Year is the best time to explore the city and its surrounding areas, too. Need help in planning your time? Then contact Envoy Tours. Our team will be happy to help you organize your time at its best.