Khmer New Year is the most popular day in Cambodia. Ninety-five percent of Cambodia’s people follow Buddhism, which is also the official religion. The calendar they follow is deeply steeped in their Buddhist religious traditions. The Cambodian New Year falls on either the 13th or 15th of April. This date is dependent on the ancient horoscope, called “Maha Sangkran.” Usually before the day starts they always prepare their home by cleaning and burning all the trash around their house. Especially they try to buy new supplies for their family. Their perspective is “New Year—everything new.” They expect a good blessing from this New Year. With that concept and belief they must be ready for a new angel who comes to take the cares of this world. Here are some activities that they prepare for in celebration of Khmer New Year:
- The welcome for the new angel:
They believe that the new angel will bless their family and countries with this warm welcome. So every Buddhist family always prepares in their own house. They pray to the new angel for their protection and to drive out all evil and unlucky things.
- The sacrifice for their dead ancestors:
All members of the family must come to join this sacrifice of the offering. They believe that their dead ancestors will come and bless them for the New Year. Also they pray for happiness, health, good luck, and riches.
- Games and activities:
With this program I see that Satan is working so effectively on these Cambodian people. Each child just follows their grandparents and their parents. They teach their child to practice, offer, pray, and worship these evil activities. In the second and third day, they bring food to the pagoda, burn incense for
thanksgiving, and worship the Buddha image. Also on the final day, they wash the image of Buddha by a mixture of water and perfume, which is meant to symbolize the washing away of evil deeds. With this washing also they pray to Buddha to bring good luck, happiness, and long life.
Finally, I would like all of you to remember these evil activities and pray for Cambodia. May God change these people’s hearts with His mighty work. I believe that God is working through all the believers in Cambodia for His glory.
Mr. Touch Am, Cambodia Mission