For Khmer New Year – What Does Songkran Mean?

Khmer New Year 2011

Khmer New Year 2011

Songkranmeans that the day ended of a year and beginning of a new year—new year ceremony; it is the originally Khmer word about new year and an almanac. Mouha Songkran is a book published every year which contains information about the moments of the planets, the changes of the moon, the tides, the date of important anniversaries, events connected with a particular subject or activity, facts and statistics about that activity.

The New Year ceremonies takes three to four days, if a year takes four days, then the second and third day of the four-days New Year we call Vonabot. The last day is called Laeung Sak, the day to increment Sak.

Day 1 is Songkran

People prepare items and food as offerings to the New Year angel. Food is selected especially to match the New Year angel’s taste, her favorite food, her jewelry, the animals she ride and the weapons she carries which are written by Hora(celebrants).

at hour of Songkran or when the angel arrives, family members burn the incenses and candles, they spray perfumes to welcome the angel and wish for longevity, peace, and wealth.

People bring food offering to the temple in the morning and then listen to monk chanting. In the afternoon, they take sand to build sand hill next to the temple or Bodhi tree. In the evening, people offer drinks to monks and invite monks to chant.

Day 2 and 3 is Vonabot

Son and daughters give clothes, money, and food to their parents or grandparents. They also give donation to the less fortunate people. In the afternoon, they participate in the building of sand hill ceremony by praying in front of the sand hill. Then follow by the monks’ praying for the families and friends who passed away offering them the path to sanctity known as Bangskole.

Day 3 or 4 Laeng Sak (Vireak Laeng Sak)

In the morning, they invite the monks to complete the building of sand hill ceremony. In the afternoon, they take part in the bathing ceremony by giving bath to parent by showering them with water and clean their feet. In addition, they participate in the bathing the Buddha statue ceremony by pouring water with perfume over the Buddha statue. Then they pray for prosperity.

Songkran 2011[/caption]

The significant of giving bath in the New Year is to get good deeds. They believe that giving bath to parents and teachers or monks resulted in the greatest good deeds. In addition, the fruit of good deeds from bathing the Buddha statue ceremony will result in many blessings in the next life. These blessings include having great beauty, wisdom, bravery, health and wonderful children.

In the belief of good deeds, Cambodians free the birds, fishes, turtle, chicken and rabbit, and etc. These animals and birds will bring them longevity, happiness and good health.

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