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Fastival Of Cambodia
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Fastival Of Cambodia

KHMER NEW YEAR

April 13,14,15th 2008

Cambodian New Year or Chaul Chnam Thmey in the Khmer language is the name of the Cambodian holiday that celebrates the New Year. The holiday lasts for three days, most commonly, from April 13th to 15th, although Khmer living in other countries may change the dates so as to celebrate on the weekend. Sometimes the holiday falls between the 14th to 16th of April.

This time of the year represents the end of the harvesting season. The farmers enjoy the fruits of their harvest and relax before the rainy season begins.People in the world always say New Year celebrate their happy festival. They usually schedule and prepare it differently, depend on their belief and tradition. For Cambodian have hold it since past till the present.

The reason that cause to finish the old year for the are that: There have been some people believe that there is a story as following one time there were a person “KABEL MORHAPROHM” who asked three questions to “THORM BAL KOMA, the millionaire’s on, who had known the three percepts of “TRAI VITH” and ail kinds of the animal’s languages.

They all had promised to cut the head of the person who failed the exam “THORM BAL” have no way to find the solution, he felled very hopeless, fortunately, there were two eagles which had spoken about these questions to make “THORM BAL” could find the way to settle the problems.

Khmer games

Cambodia is home to a variety of games played to transform the dullest days into a memorable occasion. Through-out the Khmer New Year, street corners often are crowded with friends and families enjoying a break from routine, filling their free time dancing and play. Typically Khmer games help maintain one’s mental and physical dexterity. The body’s blood pressure, muscle system and brain all are challenged and strengthened in the name of fun.

1. “Tres”

A game played by throwing and catching a ball with one hand while trying to catch an increasing number of sticks with the other hand. Usually, pens or chopsticks are used as the sticks to be caught.

2. “Chol Chhoung”

A game played especially on the first nightfall of the Khmer New Year by two groups of boys and girls. Ten or 20 people comprise each group, standing in two rows opposite each other. One group throws the “chhoung” to the other group. When it is caught, it will be rapidly thrown back to the first group. If someone is hit by the “chhoung,” the whole group must dance to get the “chhoung” back while the other group sings.

3. “Chab Kon Kleng”

A game played by imitating a hen as she protects her chicks from a crow. Adults typically play this game on the night of the first New Year’s day. Participants usually appoint a person with a strong build to play the hen leading many chicks. Another person is picked to be the crow. While both sides sing a song of bargaining, the crow tries to catch as many chicks as possible as they hide behind the hen.

4. “Bos Angkunh”

A game played by two groups of boys and girls. Each group throws their own “angkunh” to hit the master “angkunhs,” which belong to the other group and are placed on the ground. The winners must knock the knee of the losers with the “angkunh.” “Angkunh” is the name of an inedible fruit seed, which looks like the knee bone.

5. “Leak Kanseng”

A game played by a group of children sitting in circle. Someone holding a “Kanseng” (Cambodian towel) twisted into a round shape walks around the circle while singing a song. The person walking secretly tries to place the “Kanseng” behind one of the children. If that chosen child realizes what is happening, he or she must pick up the “kanseng” and beat the person sitting next to him or her.

6. “Bay Khom”

A game played by two children in rural or urban areas during their free time. Ten holes are dug in the shape of an oval into a board in the ground. The game is played with 42 small beads, stones or fruit seeds. Before starting the game, five beads are put into each of the two holes located at the tip of the board. Four beads are placed in each of the remaining eight holes.

The first player takes all the beads from any hole and drops them one by one in the other holes. He or she must repeat this process until they have dropped the last bead into a hole lying beside an empty one. Then they must take all the beads in the hole that follows the empty one. At this point, the second player begins to play. The game ends when all the holes are empty. The player with the greatest number of beads wins the game.

“Klah Klok”

A game played by Cambodians of all ages. It is a gambling game that is fun for all ages. There is a mat & dice. You put money on the object that you believe the person rolling the dice (which is usually shaken in a bowl type) and you wait. If the objects face up on the dice are the same as the objects you put money on. You double it. If there are two of yours you triple, and so on. This game is the most fun of Khmer new years.

Bon Om Touk: The Water Festival of Cambodia

In November, when the moon is full, Cambodians from all provinces come to Phnom Penh to celebrate the water festival or what they refer to as Bon Om Touk. Right in Chaktomuk, the confluence of these great rivers, the Tonle Sap, the Bassac, the Mekong Leur (upper) and the Mekong Krorm (lower), they offer thanks to these rivers for giving them abundant fish and water and other water resources.

This water festival is also referred to as the festival of the reversing current. Each year, as the rainy season progresses, the river reverses course upward towards the Tonle Sap Lake and around this festival when the rains limit its downpour, the river goes back to flow downstream allowing the Tonle Sap lake to empty its waters to the Mekong river leaving behind fish in abundance.

Bun Pchum Ben festival

ll cultures honor their dead but Cambodia makes this an art form! Bon Pchum Ben. Each year, 15 days are devoted to honor the part of the family that is here but no longer here. Tradition dictates that every year, around September or October, depending on the Buddhist calendar, must be devoted to making the family of previous generations happy.

Every Buddhist visit at least 3 pagodas each to bring food, money and other favourite things of the dead relations for fear that when the last generations come to the pagoda for a visit, if they don't find this evidence of memory, they will put a curse on them. For many, visiting at least 7 pagodas within the 15 day period is the best. Who needs more curses with the world's bankers doing a job on all of us. As the pagodas in the big cities get most of the donations, rich people try to visit the remote and faraway ones so the monks there can get a share of the bounty, and big city ghosts that take a side trip won't be disappointed.

Pchum Ben or Bon Kan Ben or Bon Dak Ben as this festival is referred to, is very colourful. With thousands of Monks in saffron robes, it couldn't be otherwise. Some explain the distinctions: Day 1-14 is referred to as Bon Kan Ben and the last day which is the most important and every Cambodian Buddhist is expected to be in the pagoda is, referred to as Pchum Ben. It looks like this ritual is only celebrated by the Therava Buddhists of Cambodia as other countries practicing Theravada Buddhism like Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand do not do this.