A BRIEF HISTORY OF KHMER NEW YEAR

Thu-05-Apr-2018 | Category : 0

Khmer New Year Celebration is recognized as the most significant festival and national holiday in Cambodia. It is the time of the year when Cambodian families get together to celebrate the occasion especially at their hometown. During the celebration, pagoda areas and public street corners are packed with groups of children and adults relishing Khmer traditional games and dancing.


Photo sources from Google 

Generally, Khmer New Year falls on either the 13th or 14 th of April depending on the dictate of Khmer ancient horoscope reading and is usually held for 3 consecutive days. Khmer New Year marks the end of the harvest before the beginning of the rainy season.Like most Cambodian celebration, the New Year festival is full of tradition and rituals. Each day of the celebration has its distinctive name along with associated traditions. 

Day 1 “Maha Sankranta” 

The first day of Khmer New Year is called “Maha Sankranta”. It can simply be described as an inauguration of new year. In Khmer tradition, the world is believed to be created by God and taken care of by his angels. On the day, family members work hard on cleaning and decorating the house and help arranging foods and drinks on a table as to welcome the new angel. Buddhist followers may also prepare food and fruits to be offered to the monks for blessings.

Day 2 “Virak Vanabat” 

The second day of the celebration is called “Virak Vanabat”. It signifies a day of offering gifts to the elders includes parents and grandparents. Most Cambodian offer charity by donating food, money or clothes to the less fortunate. In the evening, the young and elder would go to religious temples to perform the ceremony of erecting sandy mounds on the temple ground. The ritual is believed to bring Cambodian people longevity and prosperity in life.

Virak Vanabat
Photo sources from Google 

Day 3 “Vearak Leung Sak” 

The third day or the final day of new year celebration is called "Vearak Leung Sak". It is the day when the year of 2017, for example, would change and begin to be 2018. Customarily, to complete the New Year festival, Cambodians need to perform the last ceremony called "Pithi Srang Preah". The ritual is done by washing and cleaning the statues of Lord Buddha with scented water. This is meant to symbolize the washing away of evil deeds and gaining blessings. The elders whom you respect such as parents and grandparents can also be washed the same way as to apologize them for past mistakes and to gratify them.


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In the year 2018, Khmer New Year celebration falls on the 14th, 15th and 16th of April. To cherish this special occasion, Borei Angkor Resort & Spa also organizes an in-house cultural event of “Khmer New Year Celebration by Borei Angkor”. The celebration is held on Saturday 14th April, 2018 from 19:00 to 22:00 at The Pavilion Garden. We have a great pleasure to invite local and international guests to come and join us on this festive celebration of the Khmer New Year “Maha Sankranta”.  

For detailed information, please go to http://boreiangkor.com/khmer-new-year-celebration

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