Cambodians celebrate Khmer New Year

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Phnom Penh exodus

PHNOM PENH, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's New Year started Wednesday which will last three days, and millions of Cambodians enjoy their celebration at many forms including the families gathering across the nation.

As usual, many residents, the families or workers in the country's capital city of Phnom Penh are travelling to rural areas or their birth places to meet their parents or relatives.

But what happen during these festivities, those travelers and happy goers are complaining about the rise of double or triple high cost of transportation as usually demanded by the vehicle operators.

Other than that, traffic jams and slow services at ferry crossing points are other things being complained about, but now thanks to two new Chinese donated bridges that help facilitate the smooth and fast flow of travelers who are getting out of town to north and northeast parts of the country, in addition to the existing two bridges donated by Japan.

On the other hand, authorities including traffic police, armed forces are busy to secure that any disturbance during the period is not to happen with their maximum efforts that may account from the theft, robbery, accidents, fire, as well as other social disorders.

In recent years, Phnom Penh Municipal Authority has warned residents not to purchase or use water cannon or fire crackers, fearing accidents often caused by these plays.

But, at the same time, many popular games and performances are encouraged by the authorities to entertain the mass holiday goers, especially, the farmers who flock to the city.

Besides, the performances in music, comics, dances and traditional arts, several old popular games are played across the country such as: knotted scarf throwing, tug-of-war, hidden knotted scarf, leaf snatching and bamboo.

Khmer New Year is celebrated every year in mid April in accordance with Moha Songkran, a Khmer form of astrology with 12 animals and this year is the year of tiger and it started on Wednesday at 07:36 a.m. local time.

The festival encourages people to enjoy the upcoming year, and to forget all unhappiness over the past year.

The Khmer New Year celebration is not only held in Cambodia, but also among overseas Cambodians living in the United States, France, Australia and Canada among others.


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