Cambodian New Year
Bonn Chaul Chhnam
A three-day celebration after the end of harvest to mark the turn of The
New Year according to the Khmer lunar calendar. Every home is seen with
attractive decorations. Shrines are full of food and beverages given as
offerings to God... Other people attend Buddhist temples where traditional
games are also performed.
The Cambodian New Year is one of the major celebrations
in the Cambodian culture. It is based on the lunar calendar, and is celebrated
in mid-April, which is the first month of the year in Cambodia. This time
of year also represents the end of the harvest. It is time for farmers
to enjoy the fruits of their harvest and relax before the rainy season
People clean and decorate their houses, as well as set
up an altar to welcome the New Year Spirit Tevada Chhnam Thmey who is
said to come down to earth at this time. A statue of buddha is placed
on the altar together with flowers, candles, incense sticks, a bowl of
scented water, food and drink, and different type of figures made from
The festival starts where by people are garthered at
their local monastery and offer food to the monks. A special sand mound
is built on the monasteries's grounds, which are decorated with five religious
flags, one on top and four on the sides.
People gather with their families and friends to wish
each other a Happy New Year and exchange gifts.Some might revisit the
monastery to ask the monks to say a special prayer for their ancestors.
this day is the day to show thoughts of consideration and gratitues to
Parents, grand parents and teachers are receiving gifts from children
out of respect. It is also a time to serve. Cambodians offer charity to
the less fortunate, participate in service activities, and forgive others
of misdeeds that may have been done to them. The people continue to add
to their sand maountain.
The buddha statues at homes and at monasteries are washed.
It is said that, this ensures good rains for the comming year. Children
wash the feet of their parents as sign of respect on this particular day.
When a Buddha statue is washed with perfumed water, it is believed to
be a kind deed that will bring good luck, a long life and happiness.