Cambodian New Year or Chaul Chnam Thmey in Khmer is the name of the holiday that celebrates the New Year in Cambodia. The holiday lasts for three days usually starting on April 13th or 14th and is a similar time to the Thai and Lao New Year celebrations as well. The farmers enjoy the fruits of their harvest and relax before the rainy season begins. It’s a very popular festival and is spread over three days:
Maha Songkran: is the name of the first day of the new year celebrations. It is the ending of the year and the beginning of a new one. People dress up and light candles and burn incense sticks at temples. The members of each family offer thanks for the Buddha's teachings and 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.
Virak Wanabat is the second day of the Cambodian new year celebrations. People contribute charity to the less fortunate, help the poor, servants, homeless people, and low-income families. Families may also attend a dedication ceremony to their ancestors at the monastery.
Tngay Leang Saka is the third day of the new year celebration. Buddhists cleanse the Buddha images and elders with perfumed water. It is thought to be a kind deed that will bring longevity, good luck, happiness and prosperity in life. By bathing their grandparents and parents, children can obtain from them best wishes and good advice for the future.
This time of year is very busy with visitors, and we recommend you book your Sihanoukville Hotel well in advance.