Khmer New Year’s day that often celebrated on the 13th of April (Chetr) but sometime celebrated on the 14th of April because of the Solar calendar. The festival that celebrated in 3 days period.
First day also called “MOHA SANGKRAN,” inauguration of the new angels who come to take care of the world for one-year period.
Elderly people meditate or pray the Dharma at this time because they believe that any angel who comes to their houses at that time will stay with them and take care of their family for the whole year. Actually, in the morning of the first day of New Year, most Khmer people prepare food to offer the monks at Khmer temple to get blessed. Also it is a wonderful time for single people to search for the special partner to get married to in the future.
Second day is “VORNBORTH” or “WANABOT,” this is a day of offering gifts to the parents, grandparents and elders. This is a perfect day to share gifts or presents to employees and also donate money or clothes to poor people. In the evening, people go to temple to build a mountain of sand and ask the monks to give them a blessing of happiness and peace.
Third day is “THNGAI LIENG SAK” or “LEUNG SAKK,” Traditionally, in the morning, people would go to the temple to perform the ceremony of the mountain of sand to get blessed. In the evening, to complete the New Year festival, Khmer people need to perform the last ceremony, called “Pithi Srang Preah”, which means giving a special bath or a special shower to Buddha statues, the monks, elders, parents and grandparents in order to apologize for any mistake done to them and to gratify them. Everyone has a wonderful time during this ceremony because it is a great opportunity for everyone, young and old, man and woman, to have much fun by spreading out water to each other.