Khmer New Year in Cambodia in 2020

Khmer New Year in Cambodia in 2020
  How long until Khmer New Year?
This holiday next takes place in 182 days.
  Dates of Khmer New Year in Cambodia
2021 Apr 14, Apr 15, Apr 16, Apr 17
CambodiaSat, Apr 17National Holiday (additional day)
CambodiaFri, Apr 16National Holiday (additional day)
CambodiaThu, Apr 15National Holiday (additional day)
CambodiaWed, Apr 14National Holiday
2020 Apr 13, Apr 14, Apr 15, Apr 16
CambodiaThu, Apr 16National Holiday (additional day)
CambodiaWed, Apr 15National Holiday (additional day)
CambodiaTue, Apr 14National Holiday (additional day)
CambodiaMon, Apr 13National Holiday
2019 Apr 14, Apr 15, Apr 16
CambodiaTue, Apr 16National Holiday (additional day)
CambodiaMon, Apr 15National Holiday (additional day)
CambodiaSun, Apr 14National Holiday
2018 Apr 14, Apr 15, Apr 16
CambodiaMon, Apr 16National Holiday
CambodiaSun, Apr 15National Holiday
CambodiaSat, Apr 14National Holiday
2017 Apr 14, Apr 15, Apr 16
CambodiaSun, Apr 16National Holiday
CambodiaSat, Apr 15National Holiday
CambodiaFri, Apr 14National Holiday
  Summary
First day of Cambodian New Year. Known as Maha Songkran, it is a day to welcome the new year
  Local name
Chaul Chnam Thmey

When is Khmer New Year?

Khmer New Year, also known as Cambodian New Year is usually a three-day public holiday in Cambodia. In Khmer, it is called 'Chaul Chnam Thmey', which means 'enter the new year'.

It is based on the traditional solar new year, that was observed in parts of India and Asia. It falls on either April 13th or April 14th.

The Khmer new year is marked by the sun entering the sign of Aries the Ram. This particular event was traditionally closely related to the Vernal Equinox. In ancient times, the dates of the sun entering Aries and the Vernal Equinox would have been even closer, but they have shifted due to an effect called procession, where the Earth wobbles on its axis over a 25,000 year period.

In Cambodia, it marks the end of the harvest before the beginning of the rainy season.

How is Khmer New Year Celebrated?

Like most New Year holidays, Khmer New Year is full of tradition and rituals. The three days of celebration each have their own name and associated traditions:

First Day - Maha Songkran

The first day of the Khmer New Year is called 'Maha Songkran'. Similar to the Tamil tradition, it is believed that this was the day of creation. In Khmer tradition, the world was created by God's angels and to welcome the angels, people will clean their houses and illuminate them with candles. Families will place an idol of Buddha on an altar.

Second Day - Vanabot

Also known as Virak Wanabat, the second day of Khmer New Year is a time to think of the less fortunate. People offer charity by helping the poor, servants and homeless. Families may go to monasteries to pay respect to their ancestors, and it also a time for family members to exchange gifts.

Third Day - Leang Saka

On the third day of New Year celebrations, Buddhists wash and clean statues of Lord Buddha with scented water. This cleansing is done to ensure that Cambodia will receive all the water it needs in the coming year. Another tradition is that children wash and bathe their parents and grandparents in return for blessing and good advice for the future.

Free trains for Khmer New Year 2019

The Royal Railway and Ministry of Public Works and Transport announced that train rides between Sunday April 14th and Tuesday April 16th 2019 will be free of charge in celebration of the Khmer New Year.

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