11 April 2017
The moment we all have been waiting for is finally here! The Khemara team sends you our best wishes to our supporters and followers for the Khmer New Year!
This religious festival is the most important festival of the year in Cambodia, so how can we not talk about it? This event, which usually falls on 13th or 14th April, corresponds to the end of the harvest season when farmers can finally enjoy the fruits of their labour and take some rest before the arrival of the rainy season. Nowadays in Cambodia, it is a day to welcome in the new year, bringing good luck and warding off evil.
There are three essential stages in Khmer New Year celebrations: the first day, called “Maha Sangkran”, the second day, called “Wanabot” and the final day, “Leung Sakk”. These days are punctuated by traditions and rituals, such as cleaning the house and culinary preparations, which attract the “good spirits” into the home. Also, offerings are given to the monks before they offer their blessing in return, traditional games are played, gifts are shared, and there are even some water fights to cool down in the baking heat!
During the festival, it is common to smell incense close to the shrines and pagodas and to see candles lighting up the streets, while taking in the magnificent colours of the dry season sunsets.
Khmer New Year, also known as “Chaul Chnam Thmey”, is an opportunity for Cambodians to take a few days of holiday as it is usually a three day public holiday in Cambodia. Therefore, it is a great chance to create some unforgettable memories!
This event is also an occasion for Khemara to take stock of how fruitful our projects have been and how far we have come. Indeed, this year has seen some very positive results in terms of promoting an inclusive early childhood education, while providing care and development through the development and upkeep of our Childcare Centers. Our Income Generation Project, HIV/Aids Program and Child Protection Project have each provided valuable support too to vulnerable people within the community.
In light of this, we remain energised to deepen and enrich our ventures during the coming new year!