Chol Chnam Thmay Festival

Published:  14:30 Thursday - July 21, 2016

Chol Chnam Thmay Festival

Khmer people belong to one of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam inhabiting in the region of Mekong River Delta. Chol Chnam Thmay Festival is one of the special and highlight festivals of Khmer groups. It is considered New Year Festival of Khmer people.

Chol Chnam Thmay Festival is held in mid – April and lasts 3 days (or 4 days in leap year). The festival is seemed to be New Year Festival in ancient calendar of Khmer people. Each festival day has different name: the first day is “Moha Songkran” or Chol Sangkran Chmay, the second day is “Wanabat” or Wonbof, the third day is “Tngai Laeung Saka” or Lom Sak, the fourth day (in leap year) is “Wonbof”.

There are many exciting and interesting activities happening on the festival. Khmer People prepare new clothes, food and drink for whole festival days. Also, they repair, clean and decorate their house to greet New Year. At night f eve, every family prepares a lavish meal, burn incense and candles to welcome new god and farewell old god. On the altar, they present 5 flower branches, 5 candles, 5 incense, 5 cereal seeds and fruit crops. People will pray for health and luck in the New Year.

On the first day of the festival, there are some popular activities taken place such as: bathing, dressing nice, bringing sacrifice gifts to the temple in good time. After doing palanquin procession ceremony, they chant to welcome New Year.

On Wonbof day, people make rice offerings and cover the sand mountain. They cook rice and bring to the temple. On Lom Sak day, it is Buddha bathing and monk-bathing ceremony. After the ceremony at the temple, people go home and do Buddha bathing ceremony at their home to receive forgiveness for the mistakes in the previous year.  

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