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Chaul Chnam Thmey

A Cambodian event not to be missed is the Chaul Chnam Thmey (Khmer New Year), a three day festival held in April each year featuring colourful processions, music, dancing... and a lot of water and talcum powder bombs! People douse each other with water as a blessing, with coloured water signifying the wish for a colourful future. The local Khmer people make offerings and exchange gifts at the end of the harvesting season. Traditionally, houses are cleaned and decorated with flowers, streamers, and balloons and an altar is set up to welcome the spirit of new year. People wear new clothes for the celebrations and children give gifts of money, fruit, or other foods to their elders as a sign of respect. Many children also wash the feet of their parents or other elders to show their devotion and respect. Cambodians have many traditional games and these are played enthusiastically over the Cambodian New Year on street corners and in homes.

Chaul Chnam Thmey marks the beginning of the new year but also the end of the busy harvesting season, when farmers give thanks and celebrate the fruits of their labour. It is a fun and exhilarating time to visit the country, particularly the Angkor Wat Temple complex, where celebrations reach their peak.

Venue: Angkor Wat; Date: 14-16 April 2020