What's better than a party? Getting ready for it. Preparation, getting all your staff out, checking what survived the last family fling, buying some replacement, thinking of a new theme and building the sense of anticipation. Now, imagine doing that for a whole country.
Well, that's what's happening in Cambodia right now. Families in the cities are packing up ready to escape to their home provinces. In villages, all across the country, uncles and aunts and grandmas and grandpas are polishing the farm, washing down the livestock and telling chuckle tales of the last new year.
In Phnom Penh, a few will stay to see the great display in front of the Royal Palace and the host of events that will unveil the birth of another year.
Walking in the city, you see the lights being hanged in the parks, the Happy new Year signs getting new bulbs and a lick of paint. The atmosphere seems lighter and brighter because New Year is a great party and old lady Phnom Penh is putting on a new dress. This display is in the park in front of the Royal Palace.
The temples are also out with the symbols of new year as Khmer troop there on 13-15 of April, 2016, the dates for the celebration of "Chaul Chnam Thmey" or literally, "Enter Khmer New Year".
Khmer gather in the temples during this celebration. They sing songs, play games and, of course, make offering and pray for another prosperous year.
This picture on the left is the newly decorated Wat Lanka, one of the oldest temples in Phnom Penh. Buddhist flags are flying all around the temple and Khmer New Year symbols are out, cleaned and ready to receive the 2016 New Year Angel.
The Khmer are all waiting for the announcement of the exact time the Angel is coming so they can gather together as families to welcome and make their offering for a blessed year.
For the name and arrival of the Khmer New year Angel, here's the link.
To better understand Khmer New Year, open this.