Happy Khmer New Year (Sussday Chol Chnam Thmey)

Every year in Arpil, for the Cambodian New Year, thousands of people gather at the Buddhist temple and bring home cooked food with special significance to each Cambodian family. The plates of food are carefully arranged together as offerings to Buddhist monks and families’ ancestors. The monks conduct a blessing ceremony in the morning as a way to make their offerings to ancestors who have passed away and send everyone’s individual wishes for the upcoming new year. It is celebrated over 3 days and each day has a meaning.

Cambodian New Year

Photo: Kevin Lara, The Orange County Register

“My greatest highlight during this festival is always the food that people bring. I would always follow my parents to the temple and observe. Over the years I found that the eldest usually cook the best authentic Cambodian dishes packed with unforgettable flavors whereas the later generations of Cambodians find ways to adapt old traditions because of modern cultural influences.” – Cat

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