Celebrated on April 13 or 14 each year, Khmer New Year, Bon CholChhnam Thmei, is a three-day affair that traditionally marks the end of the harvest season and is Cambodia’s single most important holiday. The cities shut down for a week over Khmer New Year while Cambodians return to their villages to spend time with their families, have parties, and visit the local pagoda.
During my childhood, it was a time we got to skip school, receive red packet envelopes, and go to the Buddhist temple to pray with our family. This was the time when the girls wear their traditional clothing and the boys put on their best cambodian shirts.
The best part about Cambodian New Years was the food. Food that was typically made in the home was available through food vendors. But for some reason, food just tasted a lot better when there is a crowd of people. The last two years we haven’t been able to go to the temple to celebrate because of Covid.
Here are some pictures of the Buddhist temple in my city. These pictures are not mines. Happy Cambodian New Years.
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