Chol Chnam Thmay Festival

The Chol Chnam Thmay Festival is the biggest festival of the Khmer people. It is held at the pagodas and local homes. It is the New Year festival of the Khmer people as Tet of the Viet people.


The festival is prepared very carefully. Khmer people clean and redecorate their house and buy necessary food for the holidays.

Parents, grandparents and children gather and sit front of the altar. They stop all farm work, and relax. The three festival days are held in a joyful and exciting atmosphere.

The first day is called Thngay Chol Chnam Thmay. This ceremony can be held sooner or later in day, as long as it will be in good time, according to the the Khmer’s opinion.

The second day is called Thngay Von-Boch. Each family ​​offers morning and lunch meals for the monks.

The third day named Thngay Large-Sak, main festival day also the last day of the festival, similar to the first two days, after offering the monks breakfast, people make a bath for Buddha to clean out the old things, dust of the old year, to welcome the new year with a clean body.

In the evening, there are fireworks and other activities, such as kite flying and fire dancing. The boys and girls perform the Roam Vong dance and sing Du Ke.

The Chol Chnam Thmay festival’s purpose is to see the end of hot sunny season and to welcome the rainy period. It shows the Khmer people’s aspirations to forget the old year’s misfortunes and hope better things in a new year.

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