Family Time for Khmer New Year Festival
Bunseun You, Khiri Travel Branch Manager in Siem Reap, loves to talk about his big family and Cambodia’s most popular holiday time. “Khmer New Year is very popular in Cambodia. It is the best chance for families to take a break from their hard working lives to meet up and share good cheer together.”
“Khmer New Year festival (Chaul Chnam Thmey) goes from 14-16 April this year. My brothers and sisters and me have prepared some gifts for my mother, who lives in my home province, Banteay Meanchey. This year, we are planning to leave Siem Reap to travel there on the day before the festival. I have already made a phone call to my brothers and sisters who all have their own families and live in different places to meet up at our mother’s house. We have more fun being together.”
“On the first day of the Buddhist New Year, we all bring some gifts for our lovely mother. In return she gives us all a blessing. That same day, we cook food to bring to the Buddhist pagoda and offer it to the monks. We will pause and pray with the monks for good luck in the coming year. The pagoda is very crowded with other people. After we all celebrate the ceremony with the monks, we play traditional Khmer games such as chol choung, bos angkunh and leak kanseng.”
“In the late afternoon we play music and dance. The partying continues with drinking lots of beer until everyone gets drunk. During Khmer New Year I also plan to meet my old school friends from my village. We talk and party and reminisce about when we were younger. I really like my family and we love each other so much. When we meet up every Khmer New Year we always have so much fun.”
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