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Cambodian New Year’s


Cambodian New Year’s is sort of like the New Year’s that happens on January 1st, with a few minor differences. First of all, no one really knows when it is supposed to happen, and each year the date it’s celebrated is always different. As long as it’s in April and within 5 days (give or take) of the 13th, it will do.

Everyone gets dressed in their best.

Buddhas for bathing.

Pots of sand, streamers and incense. Like party hats and noise makers.

Instead of putting on a hat, you take a cup of rose water and bathe the buddhas.

Instead of lighting firecrackers, you light incense and stick them in the giant pile of sand.

And instead of tossing your cookies, you re-distribute sand from your cup to the big communal sand mound.

Instead of buying strangers drinks at the bar, you set up a college panel and solicit people to give them information.

Whereas on December 31, you stand around thinking about who you’re going to potentially kiss at midnight, on April 11, you walk around thinking about what you’re going to eat.

Pureed, seasoned salmon

Puh Hohk: seasoned, ground pork

BBQ’d bananas and rice

Homemade sausages

Watching and listening to monks chant is like watching Dick Clark and waiting for the ball to drop.

But after the ball drops, you don’t turn to kiss the person next to you. Instead you eat. A lot.

After eating too much (like what might happen after drinking too much), tom foolery takes hold.

It was Nathalie’s idea to have me practice my color guard moves in the middle of the crowd.

People started staring.

People staring at the crazy person making a scene? Sounds like the end of all kinds of New Year’s all over the world.

Last modified: January 10, 2019