When Is Khmer New Year

When Is Khmer New Year


When Is Khmer New Year: The Cambodian New Year, spanning from April 14 to 16, is widely recognized as the Khmer New Year, representing a festive and vibrant celebration embraced by the Khmer people in Cambodia. Much like the universally celebrated New Year’s Day on January 1, this occasion is marked by exuberant festivities, spectacular fireworks displays, lively parties, and an abundance of joy.

The Khmer New Year aligns with the traditional solar new year observed in various regions, including parts of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. The convergence of these celebrations creates a cultural tapestry that transcends borders and unites communities in the shared revelry of ushering in the new year.

During this spirited period, Cambodians engage in a multitude of activities to welcome the New Year. Traditional rituals, lively street parades, and communal gatherings are integral to the celebrations. Water plays a symbolic role, with people engaging in water fights and cleansing ceremonies to wash away the old and usher in the new.

As the Khmer New Year unfolds, it not only serves as a time for joyous merrymaking but also as a moment of cultural unity, linking communities across borders in the collective celebration of renewal and the promise of a fresh start.

When Is Khmer New Year

A Brief History Of Khmer New Year

Khmer New Year is Cambodia’s most important holiday. It’s a happy day when families get together to enjoy, especially in their home country. It’s enjoyed for three days, most often on April 13 or 14, based on past horoscopes. It marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the rainy season. Traditional Khmer games and dancing are fun for both kids and adults, making pagodas and public spaces happy places.

This is what the first day of the year, or “Maha Sankranta,” means: the beginning of a new year. To welcome the new Angel, who is thought to be in charge of watching over the creation of the world, families clean and arrange their homes with great care and set the table with food and drinks. Buddhists can also reward monks by giving them food and fruit.

On Day 2, “Virak Vanabat,” gifts are given to older people to remind them to help those who are less wealthy. The Cambodian people think that building sand mounds in religious temples at night will make them live long and be wealthy. Cambodia has its own unique culture, which can be seen in the many traditions and celebrations that happen around Khmer New Year.

What happens at the Khmer New Year?

The Khmer New Year, which is called “Bon Chol Chhnam Thmei” in Khmer, is Cambodia’s biggest traditional event and national holiday. It lasts for three days of wild celebration. Every year, Cambodians go to temples early in the morning to feed the monks and ask for good luck in the new year.

Cambodians traditionally celebrate the start of a new year with Choul Chnam Thmey, which is also known as Khmer New Year. Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhism is what most ethnic Khmers believe in and is an important part of their culture. When it came to Cambodia, this branch, which is the older and more traditional of the two main schools of Buddhism, was the official state faith until 1975. Cambodians celebrate the start of a new year in a way that honors their religious and cultural traditions. This gives them a sense of community and renewal.

Discovering Khmer New Year: A Journey Through Time and Tradition

There is an old way to wish someone a happy new year: “sursedey cham they,” which means “happy year new.” The name of the Khmer New Year is Chaul Chnam Thmey, which means “new year.”

Cambodia has its own unique New Year’s traditions, which are different from the normal celebration on January 1. New Year’s Day is usually on April 13 or 14, since 2013 AD is thought to be 2557 BE (Buddhist Era). Cambodian New Year is linked to farming and seasonal cycles because it happens at the same time every year during the Buddhist Era and on the lunar calendar. It marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the rainy season.

The Khmer New Year has historical value because it comes from traditions that nearby countries like Burma, Thailand, and Laos share. These countries use similar yearly calendars and count the years according to the Buddhist Era. Today’s celebrations are cut down from the usual month-long one that starts two weeks early and finishes on the designated day to just three public holidays. Many places of business and institutions stay closed longer during this time so that people can spend time with their families and celebrate in their hometowns. People who want to visit around the New Year should be aware that there may be a lot of traffic on the transit system and that city streets and services may be surprisingly quiet.

Khmer New Year Games

Children enjoy these games, and adults often join in the fun with enthusiasm. There are both traditional games and games that have been changed to fit different cultures and practices.

For Clay Pot Prizes, little clay pots with a small prize and flour are hung from a rope between two trees. This is an old game. People with blindfolds try to break a pot with a long stick after being thrown around. With help from the crowd’s cheers, they form a line to connect the stick to the pot. When it works, the pot breaks, spilling flour all over them and showing a prize on the ground.

Ongkhun: Players stand a few meters away and try to hit the seeds that have been hammered into the ground with round, flat Ongkhun vine seeds. The person who hits the most goals wins.

A big group of boys and girls are playing an old-school game that kids and teens like to play. A “chhoung,” or twisted scarf, is thrown back and forth between teams. If it is caught, it is quickly thrown at a favorite player on the other team. After a hit, the hit person leads the rest of the team in singing and dancing. The count is then moved to the other side, and the exciting process starts all over again.

Where Can You Celebrate Khmer New Year?

After talking about the food, let’s take a look at the different places where Khmer New Year events happen.

If you want to go to Cambodia over the holidays, you won’t have to worry about where to go because the whole country is filled with joy. No matter where people go, they will feel welcome and fully immersed in the party.

People who visit the big towns of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap can still enjoy the celebrations, even though many people would rather be with their families. Every town is proud of its own New Year’s party.

At this time of year, Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, feels calm. Enjoy the peace of the city. On the last day, there will be an amazing show with horses and elephants.

Siem Reap is the best place to go to a party. In Siem Reap, on the other hand, the parties are almost at their peak. There is a lot of music and street food in the city for the New Year’s party, and famous landmarks are turned into bright places for traditional activities.

When Is Khmer New Year

Which country celebrates Khmer New Year?


In Cambodia, Khmer New Year is the greatest traditional festival, and also the greatest national holiday. It is three days of festival and sometimes can be four days. Khmer New Year begins on April 13th or can begin on April 14th, depending on the “MohaSangkran,” which is the ancient horoscope.

Cambodians celebrate Khmer New Year, which means the end of crop season and the beginning of a new year. This holiday is very important to their culture and history. The holiday lasts for three days in the middle of April and is a time for many family traditions, celebrations, and events in the area.

When the ancient Khmer dynasty accepted Buddhism, the holiday that had been tied to the Hindu calendar was changed to April. The Cambodian New Year is enjoyed all over the country by both Buddhists and people who are not Buddhists.

Pouring water on people during the celebrations is a common tradition that stands for cleaning and washing. Lots of people go to pagodas to pour water on monks and Buddha statues. This is a very common ritual in rural areas.

During the Cambodian New Year, family and friends cook and share foods like amok (fish curry), Kalan (sticky rice cake), and nom banh chok (rice noodle soup).

People are dancing and playing games in bright traditional costumes in the streets, which are full of lively parties. The capital of the country, Phnom Penh, has a huge parade with floats, musicians, and artists. At the end of the march, a symbolic flame is lit to show hope for a good new year.

Where did Khmer come from?

Khmer, any member of an ethnolinguistic group that constitutes most of the population of Cambodia. Smaller numbers of Khmer also live in southeastern Thailand and the Mekong River delta of southern Vietnam. The Khmer language belongs to the Mon-Khmer family, itself a part of the Austroasiatic stock.

The Khmer people make up most of Cambodia’s population and are the country’s largest ethnic group. There are smaller Khmer groups in southern Vietnam and southeast Thailand along the Mekong River delta, but Cambodia is where they live most of the time. The Khmer language is a big part of their culture. It is in the Mon-Khmer family, which is a branch of the larger Austroasiatic line. The amazing Angkor Wat temple complex, which was built in the 1100s, shows how long the Khmer people have been around.

The Khmer people are mostly farmers who make a living by fishing and growing rice. Their communities are made up of several hundred people. Some of the things they do for a living are metalworking, weaving, and making pots. Khmer homes usually have gabled tops and are made of concrete or wood. Most homes are made up of nuclear families, with other close family living with them sometimes.

What do they eat in Khmer New Year?

Another popular tradition during Cambodia New Year is the making and eating of traditional foods such as amok (fish curry), kralan (sticky rice cake), and nom banh chok (rice noodle soup). These foods are often served to family and friends during the holiday, and they hold special significance to Cambodians.

New meals are made to add to the happy mood during Khmer New Year, which changes the food scene. Some of these are tasty egg rolls, the fragrant “ya-hon” hot pot, and the traditional Kralan, a steamed rice cake filled with beans, chopped coconut, and coconut milk that is wrapped in bamboo and slowly roasted. “Lort Cha” noodles and “Num Pang” savory bread sandwiches are two more delicious foods that you should try. The delicious smells of Khmer Fish Amok, a spicy meal, make you want to eat it.

The famous treat “Nom Ansom” is the food that stands out as the best. You can make this tasty meal with pork and a potato-like filling or as a sweet dessert with sticky rice and bananas. These fancy dishes represent the fun and happiness that come with Khmer New Year events, as well as the variety of Khmer foods.

What is the ceremony for Khmer New Year?

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.

Moha Songkran, the first day of the New Year, is also the start of the New Angels’ year-long term. Their job is to watch over the land. As we welcome the New Year and the Angels, “KimiteaTevi,” into our homes, the chief Angel tells everyone to clean, decorate, and make drinks and fruits.

People over the age of 65 often meditate or repeat the Dharma because they believe that any angel who visits their homes at this time of year will watch over and care for their family all year. A lot of Khmer people make food early in the morning on the first day of the New Year to give to Khmer temple monks as a gift. During this time, boys and girls can play traditional games at the temple or in their town since people can only get together around the New Year. Formal “dating” didn’t exist in Cambodia until the last few decades, so now is a great time for single people to look for life partners.

Giving gifts to parents, grandparents, and older people is all the rage on Wanabot, the second day of the New Year. People at work and less wealthy people will sometimes trade gifts for money or clothes. To ask the monks for happiness and peace, people build sand mountains in the evenings while they visit churches.

When Is Khmer New Year

The Khmer New Year is a very important holiday in Cambodia, and people get together with their families and friends to enjoy. Families get into the holiday spirit by having parties with loud dance music played by big speakers for neighbors and guests to enjoy. It’s also fun for businesses that throw parties for their employees, give them gifts, and cook delicious meals. While memories of the Khmer Rouge and the civil war that followed are still fresh, the event becomes a moving chance to enjoy family time, celebrate peace, and wish everyone a long and happy life.

Warmth is a big part of open house traditions, where families invite friends to join their happy celebrations. The way that foreigners are accepted and included in the Khmer New Year celebrations is a great example of how to include everyone. These events are more than just parties; they show how much we all want peace, healing, and the Cambodian people’s strength to keep going even when things get hard.

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