Happy Khmer new year at the pagoda to share amazing yoga & relaxing practice. Children joining us for a lovely class. Hope we inspire new generation for a fulfilling and flourishing way of living.
What is Khmer New Year?
Cambodian people have many holidays during the year. One of the most important is Khmer New Year (Khmer: បុណ្យចូលឆ្នាំថ្មី, pronounced: Choul Chnam Thmey).
It is celebrated over three days starting from the 13th or 14th of April, which coincides with the end of the harvesting season. Khmer New Year is a precious time for Cambodian people to gather with family, friends and their community. It is celebrated throughout Cambodia and is rooted in Buddhist traditions.
So how is Khmer New Year celebrated? There are different traditions on each day.
Day 1: Maha Songkran (មហាសង្រ្កាន្ត) Maha Sangkran, derived from Sanskrit Maha Sankranti, is the name of the first day of the new year celebration. It is the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. People dress up and light candles and burn incense sticks at shrines, where the members of each family pay homage to offer thanks for the Buddha‘s teachings by bowing, kneeling and prostrating themselves three times in front of his image. For good luck people wash their face with holy water in the morning, their chests at noon, and their feet in the evening before they go to bed.
Day 2: Virak Vanabat (វិរ:វ័នបត) Vireak Vanabat is the name of the second day of the new year celebration. People contribute charity to the less fortunate by helping the poor, servants, homeless, and low-income families. Families attend a dedication ceremony to their ancestors at monasteries.
Day 3: Vearak Loeng Sak (វារៈឡើងស័ក) T’ngai Loeng Sak in Khmer is the name of the third day of the new year celebration. Buddhists wash the Buddha statues and their elders with perfumed water. Bathing the Buddha images is a symbolic practice to wash bad actions away like water clean dirt from household items. It is also thought to be a kind deed that will bring longevity, good luck, happiness and prosperity in life. By washing their grandparents and parents, the children can obtain from them best wishes and good pieces of advice to live the life for the rest of the year.
Sanskrit (Angkor Sangkranta) is an event of Khmer New Year organized by the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) which is held in Siem Reap province from 14–16 April. Culture event action-packed Angkor Sangkran is an opportunity for all Cambodians as a united Khmer Family and for foreign friends to receive unforgettable and exquisite experiences during Khmer New Year in Cambodia.