Like many other Buddhist countries in Southeast Asia, Cambodian New Year falls in April that makes this month one of the most ideal months for travelling. As the turn of New Year is particularly important, this special event can be considered as one of the most colorful festivals Cambodia.
Cambodian New Year/ Khmer New Year
- Time: usually fall on April 13th or 14th, depending on the ancient horoscope MohaSangkran.
- Duration: 3 days
- Location: Throughout Laos
- Meaning: The Cambodian New Year is celebrated to mark the beginning of Cambodian New Year and the end of the harvest.
Originated from Bramhmanism, a part of Hinduism, the Cambodian New Year is the occasion for Cambodians to decorate their homes to please the Heaven God. During the festival, street corners are often full of people enjoying a break from routine, filling their free time dancing and play. Typically Khmer games help maintain one’s mental and physical dexterity. On the first day or Koha Sonkran, the Cambodians make offerings and prayers at local temples and wash themselves with holy water at various times of the day. Wanabat or Day 2 is a day of service to the poor, homeless and needy.
On the third day or Leung Sakk, the Cambodians clean their elders and Buddha statues with perfumed water as an act to invite good luck and happiness. In Phnom Penh, the Cambodian royal family calls upon the king to promise allegiance and to wish him good health. The day continues such entertainment as boxing, elephant and horse races and a royal procession. It can be said that this festival is one of the happiest times of the year with joyous smiling faces everywhere you come.