It is well known that Pchum Ben, Khmer New Year and the Water Festival are considered the most important annual and traditional festivals for Cambodia, especially for those who are Buddhist followers. Since Pchum Ben day is approaching, we would like to share with you a brief description of Pchum Ben festival in the following article. You will then know what the festival is, when and why it is celebrated, and what activities Buddhist people normally engage in during this festival.
If you are an active person and you do not have much time to read a lengthy book or article about Khmer New Year, this article is just for you! Some of you might have heard about this festival before; some of you might not. In this article, we are going to share with you some basic information about Khmer New Year, highlighting two main aspects: an overview of Khmer New Year and the common festival activities. Additionally, in the last part of the article, there are some useful greetings that you can learn too.
What is Water Festival or “Bon Om Touk”?
The full name of this festival is “Bon Om Touk, Bon-dait bro-dteeb, Sam-bpay-ah Preah Khe, Ork Om Bok.” Directly translated, this means “the festival of the boat race, illuminated floats, praying to the moon, and rice cereal gulping.”
Khmer New Year or Cambodian New Year’s Eve (Bun Chaul Chnam Khmer), literally translated “Enter Year New” is known as the most popular Cambodian holiday during the year. The holidays last for three days beginning on New Year Day, which usually falls on April 13th or 14th. New Year in Cambodia represents the end of the harvesting season, when farmers enjoy the fruits of their labor before the rainy season begins. Days ahead of this, people clean up their homes, communities and decorate for celebration, as well as set up an altar to the New Year spirit, Tevada Chnam Thmey.
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