Cambodia

It’s New Year’s Again…

Three New Year’s celebrations are a lot to handle in a few short months.  In addition to our New Year’s festivities in January and our mountain retreat vacation over Chinese New Year in Taiwan, we were also able to add another New Year’s celebration to our ever-expanding repertoire this year. 

Over the weekend, we celebrated Khmer New Year on the beaches of Sihanoukville in Cambodia.  The entire sky along the beach was lit up with hundreds of firecrackers being set off by hoards of Cambodians, loaded with water guns, who arrived yesterday in time to shower each other with baby powder.  We had a rather subdued evening, despite the enormous amount of parties on the beach.  We simply enjoyed our dinner on the beach and watched the evening sky burst into every color of the rainbow while the wind rolled off the waves.  It was a perfect evening. 

We made sure we avoided Angkor Wat, as we were warned ahead of time that people flock to the temples with prepared offerings.  We think there were just as many people at the beaches too.  People were busy throwing baby powder on each other, lobbing water balloons and firing off rather large water guns at one another. 

Once again, we were grateful to be away from the crowds.  Serendipity Beach is occupied by foreigners, while the Cambodians crowded onto busy Ochheutal Beach.  There must have been thousands out there frolicking in the water.  The water actually looked like a sea of heads.  Obviously, this is the place to come to for Khmer families, especially at this time of year.

The Cambodian New Year is a three-day festival to mark the end of the harvest season.  It takes place the 14th, 15th and 16th of April every year.  It felt quite strange to be celebrating the New Year at this time of year.

During this time, people believe that the spirits of the old year explain their responsibilities and duties to the spirits of the New Year.  As the New Year is born, a new Heaven is born too.  People light candles and pray for the New Heaven to bring them joy.  We certainly found our evening to be a joyful one. 

I'm a chronically ill Canadian who has been living in Taiwan since 2006. I'm a bit of a jack of all trades! I love art, gardening, flower arranging, reading (that's an understatement if you've seen my GoodReads profile), and snuggling with my cats. Animal videos make me cry. I hate cooking. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my garden bloom! Learning about new cultures and exploring the world has been my thing since I started traveling at age 19. A self-professed autodidact, I can speak comfortably on many different subjects and hold a special place in my heart for science, technology, law, health and medicine, and history. You can find me nerding out at home most of the time due to being chronically ill and housebound. If I'm not engaged in one of the activities listed above, I'm probably building websites. Check my About page under Carrie Kellenberger to learn why I'm taking you on this journey with me through My Several Worlds. I can't wait to get to know you better!

2 Comments

  • range

    New Year’s is always fun.

    This would be the 3rd time you celebrate new year’s?

    Once on January 1st, the second on Chinese New Year and now Khmer New Year!

  • Lisa Belovely

    a very very very happy new new new year! that’s the best kind of year. a new new new one.

    PS i have started watching Buffy again. i know. again. i just felt like a little Dru.

    “Miss Edith speaks out of turn. She’s a bad example, and will have no cakes tonight.”

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