History of Bon Pchum Ben

Bon Pchum Ben or Feast Festival for Ancestors
Overview Snapshot

Bon P'chum Ben is the remarkable celebration of Cambodian annual gathering. On the 15th day of the waning moon(Ronouch) during the tenth month of the Khmer calendar, called Pheaktrobotr, Cambodian Buddhists celebrate this auspicious P'chum Ben event (the Festival of the Dead or Feast Festival for Ancestors). This celebration usually falls in the first half of September in the western calendar. This year it falls on October 8. It is called P'chum Thom(big festival). Actually, the celebration has begun since the waxing moon(K'nert) day falling in September 24; and this is called P'chum Touch(small festival). During the period between big festival and small festival, people always commit to take turn in offering food to the monks who are staying in door of three months rainy retreat. This is called Kan Ben (food offering turn).
The history, meaning and objectives

According to the Vinaya(discipline) of Bhikkhu Monks; they have to stay in door or rainy season hibernate for three month starting from the first waning moon of Srab(July) to the fifteenth waxing moon of Assoj(October) annually. These three month periods reasonably recommended by the Bhikkhu monks assembly presided by Buddha to amend this law in order to benefits for the Bhikkhu monk community such as - monks have to spend this three month full time to study and practice Dhamma, - teachers, students and laypeople can make acquaintance with each other in one place to bolster their harmony, - and it is the rainy season which is hard for the monks to wander around because it is wet, muddy and easily to step on crops of farmers.

But monks able go outside the door of temple during the rain-retreat unless they have sufficient excuses such as to preach the Dhamma, visit ill relatives, participating functions or get away from some disasters etc. However, if any monks have offended this law, they would be sentenced by a weak condemn of the Sangha's assembly and they can be uncharged when they confess in front of the assembly.

Through this important three months of strict practicing of Dhamma makes laypeople increased their faith and generosity to feed and take care all monk Sangha. So each family and villages will take turn to offer food and other four necessities to monks daily. And there are two specific days which laypeople join together to make the ceremony more crowded and significant. They are the P'chum Touch(small festival) and the P'chum Thom(big festival). Especially, P'chum Thom is recognized as the most important day for all citizens regardless of ethnic background, color, race or faith have to pay attention and join this ceremony.

P'chum Thom have happened since the Sakymuni Buddha period. When king Bhibisara felt sad about his absence to pay back gratitude to his ancestries and heard the crying sound every night in his palace, he went to ask some advices from the Buddha and he got insight that he has to celebrate the food offering ceremony annually. We don't know that when this cult of celebration was being celebrated by Cambodian Buddhists, but following our observation, it must be arrived in Cambodia in the same time of the arrival of Buddhism. It has become the root of Khmer culture and unique identity. This celebration has coincidently combined with the genuine religious cult of Cambodia that dominantly respects and worships their ancestors. This religious cult is called the Religion of Neakta.

The full outcomes of P'chum Ben day signifies many different aspects to bond Cambodia together in both material and spiritual, social value and unique identity, harmony and prosperity. It is not different from the Choul Chnam day or Cambodian New Year Day that these two celebrations are remarkable events and the most auspicious days. We can outline some of these prospects beneficial of P'chum Ben day.

1. To offer the chance to everybody to stay away from all evils, to cultivate the good and to purify their mind.
2. To provide the opportunity for everybody to empower their peaceful mind and spiritual adherence.
3. To pay gratitude to their dead ancestors as well as their living seniors.
4. To share their kindness and compassion by exchanging of their food, snacks and money with each others and especially to the poor people. Remarkably, this period is considered as the hardest time for low income or poor conditioned people to find food to eat in Cambodia.
5. To bond everybody together through their spiritual practice, gratefulness, socializing and local stylizing.
6. To increase the sense of multiculturalism, fraternity, compassion, unity and righteousness.
7. To unify the interests, concerns and identity roots of the national or international distinctions or stratifications.
Truth of fact about P'chum Ben Day

There is the reality and legendary about P'chum Ben Day. - Buddha taught and explained that our ancestors who died and reborn as angels, animals, human beings or in hell cannot receive our meritorious dedication. But if any of our ancestors or relatives who were born as the hungry ghost (Praet); they need food a lot and they cannot eat like us; they eat only through our goodness, generosity and offering; and has dedicated to them by naming those relatives. Doing this, all those relatives of hungry ghost can receive all those delicate food and offerings. So it is possible to gain merits as our ancestors can receive our offerings, through our own hearted generosity and gratefulness. - Buddha encouraged King Bhimpisara to celebrate this festival as well as everybody has to celebrate this too. Nobody in this world has never had relatives or ancestors who have been passed away. More than this, this auspicious celebration also inspires us to pay gratitude with our living parents, grandparents or seniors too. - As the season is remarkable for its darkness during the night makes Cambodian people think that their dead ancestors could be released from the abysses of hell and wander around all over seven temples. If they don't see any of their children or relatives have not offered any food or gain merits to dedicate to them; they will be sad and sorrowful in their heart. This reflects badly to their survival relatives which can bring along with bad Kamma, bad luck and sufferings.
Practical ways

During this time everybody prepares their body and mind, and sacrifice both materials and time to join this day. All villagers and all different stratification of people prepare their food and sweet, four necessities, offerings, special clothes dressing; and they obligate to undertake the five commandments during this auspicious occasion.
For the food comprises of:

- Ordinary meal such as rice, soups, salted grilled fish, fresh grilled fish with mango sauce, spring roles, salad and fermented fish etc. - Some seasonal snacks or baked such as Num Onsam and Num Korm (steamed cakes wrapped in banana leaves). Num Onsam is a kind of cylindrical cake of glutinous rice wrapped around a mixture of pork, salt and other ingredients. Num Korm and Nom Thmey is shaped like a pyramid and made of rice-flour and filled with a coconut and palm sugar mixture. Some other distinctive fruits and snacks.

For the four necessities include:
1. Saffron robes
2. Other storable food
3. Umbrella, raincoats or other shelters
4. Medicine, shampoo, toothpaste and tooth brash etc. These four necessities always pack with brightly, pyramid wrap

Some other Offerings include:
Incense sticks
Garland or leis

Clothing is very colorful and delicate which include Sompot Hol or Sompot Phamoung which is the silk skirt of Cambodian women. It is dressed for national important day and Buddhist ceremonies. These delicate skirts always dress with short sleeve blouse(Aov Pak) made in Cambodia and put with tiny scarf. Men wear neat dresses and polite.
Five commandments or prepts

The five precepts in which every Cambodian Buddhist is aware about it and practice them in their daily life. Importantly, in this occasion they have to observe it to re-affirm their obligation and purification.
1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
1 3. Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech such as lying, malicious words, harsh words and talk in vain.
5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.

The appropriate practices during the cession When food, dressing and other necessities are already prepared; individuals have to be aware when they are stepping into the monasteries compound or ceremonial places. They should keep quiet, modesty and polite. Wearing hats are not allowed. They should take off shoes before stepping into the hall or ceremonial space. People will go in front of the Buddha statues and sit with a right position, bow down three times, lit the candles and incense sticks, offer flowers and perfume. After listening attentively to the monk's preaching, chanting or other blessing; they should prepare food which is ready to offer to the monks. Most of the time, all participants will put their rice into the rice bowl collecting by the long process of monks. During offering food into alms bowl, they have to take off shoe and concentrate on merits and dedicate to their dead ancestors or the family. All of these good deed activities must be attentive, silent, peaceful, mindful and compassionate. When our mind is peaceful during the cession; we can feel the great merits growing in our heart and the blissful sense we should receive from this paying gratitude to our ancestors. More than this, when the application of our mind access deeply, subtle and insightful to the Dhamma; we can get into the Dhamma stream which is the stream of Enlightenment.

There are many other things symbolizing Cambodian culture and identity, but P'chum Ben Day is considered as the most important one. In this day, people will not only attend because of their faith, their generosity or habit, but to survive their daily life and strengthen the "family society tradition of Cambodia". Distinctively, to develop their individuality of right thought and right understanding; and walk persistently toward individual's goal follows the eightfold path of ethnic awareness, peaceful meditation and insightful wisdom. This is rigorous for everybody to come, participate and enjoy with this auspicious day.
History of World Cup.
Uraguay Team
The seeds which marked the beginning of this great event were planted by the president of the World Football Federation, in 1926. There would be no such thing as a world cup history if it were not for Jules Rimet, who first took the presidency in 1921. The positive message infused by Rimet is summarized by his famous words "Soccer could reinforce the ideals of a permanent and real peace", as he pushed to organize an international event that would make no discrimination on the grounds of professional or amateur status. As his words were spoken the plans for a world tournament involving all of the federations was being planned for the coming 3 to 4 years. Along with the help of 5 other officials, Rimet organized the event for 1930. Via congressional meetings of the World Football Federation the semantics for the tournament were laid out and finalized.

On May 26th, 1928 the World Cup was born. History was changed forever as five European countries plus a chosen host of Uruguay planned to hold the first tournament on May 18th, 1929 at the congress of Barcelona. Uruguay was chosen as host based on their outstanding Olympic record, and as Rimet was encouraging a regime of international peace, utilizing the reputation the Olympic games already held was simply intelligent leveraging.

The actualization of the event did not transpire until the year later, when on July 13th, 1930 the first game of the first world cup kicked off in Pocitos Stadium, and France beat Mexico 4 to 1. This truly marked the beginning of a long and wonderful world cup history.

The first world cup was the only event to not involve the modern qualifying rounds. The only European teams involved were France, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and Romania. Other European teams either wished to remain in purely Amateur events, or argued that the expected trip time was far too long. Other than Uruguay six additional south American teams participated, including Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru.
Winners of the 1st World Cup - Uruguay - 1930

Two teams remained to complete the final 13 for 1930, Mexico and the United States. The U.S. was utilizing a heavily Scottish roster for the event.

In the end it was Uruguay battling Argentina for the cup. Victory and the first world cup went to Uruguay as they beat the Argentineans 4 to 2.
The Year of Tiger

មហា​សង្ក្រាន្តឆ្នាំ​ខាល ទោស័ក

ចុល្លសករាជ ១៣៧២ – មហា​សករាជ ១៩៣២
ពុទ្ធសករាជ ២៥៥៤ – គ្រឹស្តសករាជ ២០១០
សុភមស្ដុ ! វរមង្គលា​ជយាតិរេក
ព្រះ​ពុទ្ធសករាជ​ព្រះ​សាសនា អតិក្កន្តា​កន្លង​ទៅ​បាន ២៥៥៣ ត្រឹម​ថ្ងៃ ១៥ កើត ខែ​ពិសាខ លុះ​ដល់​ថ្ងៃ ១ រោច ខែ​ពិសាខ ឆ្នាំ ខាល ទោស័ក​តទៅ​ចូល​ពុទ្ធសករាជ ២៥៥៤ ។
នឹង​គណនា​ឆ្នាំ ខាល ឥឡូវ​នេះ​សង្ក្រាន្ត​ចូល​មក​នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ពុធ ១ កើត ខែ​ពិសាខ ត្រូវ​នឹង​ថ្ងៃ​ទី ១៤ ខែ​មេសា ២០១០ វេលា​ម៉ោង ៧ និង ៣៦ នាទី ព្រឹក ។ ពេល​នោះ​ព្រះ​អាទិត្យ​ចេញ​ពី​មីនរាសី​ទៅ​ឋិត​នៅ​ឯ​មេសរាសី​តាម​ផ្លូវ​គោវិថី ​គឺ​ផ្លូវ​កណ្ដាល ទើប​មាន​ទេពធីតា​មួយ​ព្រះ​អង្គ​ជា​មគ្គនាយិកា​ព្រះ​នាម មណ្ឌាទេវី ជា​បុត្រ​ទី​បួន​នៃ​កបិល​មហាព្រហ្ម គង់​នៅ​ចាតុម្មហារាជិកា ទ្រង់​អម្ពរ​ពណ៌ អន លម្អ​នៅ​ព្រះ​កាណ៌​ដោយ​សៀត ផ្កា​ចម្ប៉ា អភរណៈ​ទ្រង់​ពាក់ កែវពិទូរ្យ ភក្សាហារ​ទ្រង់​សោយ ទឹកដោះ​ស្រស់ ព្រះ​ហស្ត​ស្ដាំ​ទ្រង់ ម្ជុល ព្រះ​ហស្ត​ឆ្វេង​ទ្រង់ ឈើច្រត់ ទ្រង់​គង់​ឈរ​លើ​ខ្នង គទ្រភៈ (សត្វ​លា) ដែល​ជា​ពាហនៈ ។ ទើប​នាំ​អស់​ទេវបុត្រ ទេវធីតា​ទាំង​មួយសែន​កោដិ​ហោះ​ទៅ​កាន់ គុហា​កែវ ធម្មមាលី នា​ទី​ភ្នំ​កៃលាស​ខេត្ត​ហិមពាន្ត ជា​ទី​តម្កល់​ទុក​នូវ​ព្រះ​សិរសា កបិល​មហាព្រហ្ម ដែល​តម្កល់​លើ​ពាន​មាស នាំ​មក​ដង្ហែ​ប្រទក្សិណ ភ្នំ​ព្រះ​សុមេរុរាជ​តាម​ផ្លូវ​ព្រះ​អាទិត្យ​ចរ ចំនួន ៦០ នាទី (២៤​ម៉ោង) ។ ទើប​នាំ​យក​ទៅ​តម្កល់​ទុក​កន្លែង​ដើម​វិញ ហើយ​ប្រជុំ ទេវបុត្រ ទេវធីតា​ទាំង​មួយ​សែន​កោដិ​ចូល​ទៅ​ស្រង់​ទឹក អនោតត្តម​មហា​ស្រះ ដែល​មាន​ទឹក​ហូរ​ចេញ​ពី​បំពង់​ថ្ម​កែវ​ដែល​ជា​មាត់​គោ ឧសភរាជ ទាំង ៧ ត្រជាក់​ក្សេមក្សាន្ត​ព្រះ​រាជ​ហឫទ័យ ហើយ​នាំ​គ្នា​ចូល​ទៅ​សមាទាន​រក្សា​សីល​ដោយ​សោមនស្ស​រីករាយ​គ្រប់​ព្រះ​អង្គ ក្នុង​ភគវតី​សភា​សាលា ដែល​វិស្សកម្ម​ទេវបុត្រ​និមិត្ត​ថ្វាយ ដើម្បី​បន្ទោរ​បង់​អពមង្គល​អោយ​ជ្រះ​ស្រឡះ ហើយ​ចម្រើន​នូវ​សិរី​សួស្ដី​ជ័យ​មង្គល ជន្មាយុ​យឺនយូរដល់​ទេវតា និង​មនុស្ស​សត្វ​ផង​ទាំងឡាយ​តាំង​ពី​ឆ្នាំ​ថ្មី​ចូល​មក​នេះ​បាន​ធូរ​ទូលំ​ ទូលាយ សុខ​ក្សេមក្សាន្ត ត​រៀង​ទៅ ។
ថ្ងៃ​ពុធ ១ កើត ខែ​ពិសាខ ត្រូវ​នឹង​ថ្ងៃ​ទី ១៤ ខែ​មេសា គ្រឹស្ត​សករាជ ២០១០ វេលា ម៉ោង ៧ និង ៣៦ នាទី​ព្រឹក ជា​ថ្ងៃ​ចូល​ឆ្នាំ ខាល ទោស័ក ។
ថ្ងៃ​ព្រហស្បតិ៍ ២ កើត ខែ​ពិសាខ​ត្រូវ​នឹង​ថ្ងៃ​ទី ១៥ ខែ​មេសា គ្រឹស្ត​សករាជ ២០១០ ជា​វារៈ វ័នបត ។
ថ្ងៃ សុក្រ ៣ កើត ខែ​ពិសាខ ត្រូវ​នឹង​ថ្ងៃ​ទី ១៦ ខែ​មេសា គ្រឹស្ត​សករាជ ២០១០ នៅ​វេលា​ម៉ោង ១១ និង ១៨ នាទី ៣៦ វិនាទី ជា​វារៈ​ឡើង​ស័ក គម្រប់​ជា​សង្ក្រាន្ត​បី​ថ្ងៃ ស្រេច​បរិបូណ៌​ចូល​ជា​សកល ឆ្នាំ ខាល ទោស័ក ចុល្លសករាជ ១៣៧២ និង​មហា​សករាជ ១៩៣២ តទៅ ។
ក្នុង​ឱកាស​សង្ក្រាន្ត​បី​ថ្ងៃ សូម​អស់​ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ​ប្រុស​ស្រី​ផង​ទាំងឡាយ​រៀបចំ​ពលិកា​គ្រឿង​សក្ការ​បូជា អុច​ប្រទីប​ជ្វាលា ថ្វាយ​ព្រះ​រតនត្រ័យ និង​ទទួល​ស្វាគមន៍​ទេវបុត្រ ទេវធីតា​ឆ្នាំ​ថ្មី ហើយ​ខំ​លះបង់​ចិត្ត​អាក្រក់​អន្យតិរ្ថីយ​ជា​ចិត្ត​អប្រីយ៍ ជាប់​ដោយ​គំនុំ​គុំគួន​ព្យាបាទ​ឈ្នានីស​ដែល​កើត​មាន​ក្នុង​ឆ្នាំ​ចាស់​អោយ​ ជ្រះ​ស្រឡះ​តាំង​ចិត្ត​ប្រព្រឹត្ត​ល្អ ប្រកប​ដោយ មេត្តា ករុណា មុទិតា ឧបេក្ខា និង បញ្ញា ធ្វើ​បុណ្យ​សុន្ទរ៍ទាន​តាម​ប្រពៃណី រក្សា​សីល​ប្រាំ​អោយ​បាន​ជាប់​ជានិច្ច នោះ​ទើប​ទេវតា​នឹង​អោយ​ពរ សព្ទសាធុការ លោក​អ្នក​នឹង​មាន​សិរី​សួស្ដី សុភមង្គល វិបុលសុខ​គ្រប់​ប្រការ តាំង​ពី​ឆ្នាំ​ថ្មី​នេះ​ត​រៀង​ទៅ ។
រណ្ដាប់​ទទួល​នូវ​ទេវតា​តាម​ទំនៀម​ពី​បុរាណ​រៀង​រហូត​មក ត្រូវ​រៀប​រាន​ទទួល​ទេវតា​នៅ​ខាង​មុខ​ផ្ទះ​មួយ សម្រាប់​តាំង​គ្រឿង​ពលីការ​ផ្សេង​ៗ ។ ត្រូវ​រៀប​ក្រាល​សំពត់​ពណ៌​​ស ឬ​ស្រគាំ ហើយ​រៀប​បាយសី ៩ ថ្នាក់​មួយ​គូ បាយសី ៧ ថ្នាក់​មួយ​គូ បាយសី ៥ ថ្នាក់​មួយ​គូ បាយសី ៣ ថ្នាក់​មួយ​គូ បាយសី​ប៉ាឆាម​មួយ​គូ ស្លាធម៌​មួយ​គូ ទឹកអប់​មួយ​គូ (ទៀន ៥ ធូប ៥) លាជ ៥ ផ្កា ៥ ដាក់​លើ​ជើងពាន ១ គូ ចេកនួន ចេក​ណាំវ៉ា ពីរ​ជើងពាន ផ្លែ​ឈើ ១១ មុខ រៀប​ដាក់​ជើងពាន ១១ គូ ដូងឡៅ​មួយ​គូ ទឹក​ស្អាត​ពីរ​កែវ ។ ឆ្នាំ​នេះ​គួរ​រក​ទឹកដោះ​ស្រស់ ដាក់​ទទួល​ទេវតា​ផង ព្រោះ​ជា​ភក្សាហារ របស់​ទេវធីតា ។
ចំពោះ​បាយសី ៩ ថ្នាក់ ៧ ថ្នាក់ សម្រាប់​នៅ​ព្រះ​បរម​រាជវាំង ចំពោះ​ប្រជារាស្ត្រ​គួរ​ធ្វើ​ត្រឹម ៥ ថ្នាក់​ចុះ​មក ឬ​រៀប​ត្រឹម​គ្រឿង​សក្ការៈ​បូជា​ដែល​មាន​ទៀន​ប្រាំ ធូប​ប្រាំ ស្លាធម៌ កូន​ចេក​មួយ​គូ​ក៏​ល្អ​ដែរ ។ ចំពោះ​ផ្លែ​ឈើ​សម្រាប់​ប្រជារាស្ត្រ គួរ​រៀប​អោយ​បាន​ត្រឹម ៣ ឬ ៥ មុខ​ជា​ការ​ប្រសើរ គឺ​រៀប​ទៅ​តាម​ធនធាន​របស់​ខ្លួន ។ នៅ​គ្រប់​ដង្វាយ​ទាំងអស់​ត្រូវ​ដាក់​ផ្កា​ម្លិះ​ភួង​ពី​លើ​គ្រប់​ដង្វាយ នៅ​លើ​ជើងពាន និង​លើ​បាយសី​ត្រូវ​ដោត​ទៀន​ហើយ​ដុត​បំភ្លឺ ។
ដកស្រង់ចេញពីការ​ផ្សាយ​របស់​ក្រសួង​ ធម្មការ និង​សាសនា
គណៈកម្មាការ​ស្រាវជ្រាវ​ វិជ្ជា​ហោរាសាស្ត្រ​ប្រពៃណីទំនៀមទម្លាប់​ខ្មែរ និង​វិទ្យាស្ថាន​ពុទ្ធសាសនបណ្ឌិត្យ

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History Of New Year Khmer

In ancient countries of Chompou Tvip (the central continent of the seven continents surrounding Mount Meru) the elder people adopted the Khmer New Year’s date in Khè Mikasè (January), i.e. the early year. According to the lunar calendar, they formerly chose three seasons including Heman Radov or winter, Kimha Radov ir hot season and Vasan Radov or rainy season.Since Chol Sakarach (Lesser Era) they have formally adopted the solar calendar and held the Khmer New Year Festival in Khè Chèt (fifth month) that is a free time from their farming. Four main seasons in the solar calendar contain winter, spring, summer and autumn.

The Khmer people have adopted the fifth solar month, known as Khè Chèt, to celebrate their New Year festival. Usually, according to the solar calendar, the Khmer New Year falls on the 13th of April although sometimes it falls on the 14th of April.

The auspicious occasion of the Khmer New Year is detailed in the astrological almanac and extends over three days. The first day is known as Maha Sangkran or “Great Almanac Day”, the second day is called Veara Vanabath or “Worshipping Day”, and the third day is known as Veara Leung Sak or “Rank and Promotion Day”. Of the three days Veara Leung Sak is considered the most auspicious.

The history of the Khmer New Year is closely connected to the seven signs of the zodiac for the week. The legend of the New Year is detailed in the Almanac which says: In ancient, happier times, a young man by the name of Thoamabal, the son of a tycoon, had an extensive knowledge of three Vedas (ancient books on Hinduism) by the age of seven. Thoamabal’s father built a temple under the spread of a large Chrey tree (a fig tree) on the banks of a river that was home to many species of birds. He had an innate ability that enabled him to understand the languages of birds. He had an innate ability that enabled him to understand the languages of birds.

Thoamabal’s attributes allowed him to become a layman in charge of religious ceremonies for all classes of people. Upon hearing this news another religious leader Kabel Maha Prohm, decided to challenge Thoamabal with tree riddles. He vowed that if Thaomabal could successfully answer the riddles he, Kabel Maha Prohm, would be beheaded; however if Thoamabal could not answer the riddles correctly then it would be Thoamabal who would be beheaded. Thoamabal insisted on having seven days to answer the puzzling enigma until Kabel Maha Prohm agreed.

For six days Thoamabal could not solve the problems and knew that he faced the prospect of being killed by Kabel Maha Prohm the next morning. He therefore decided ton hide himself and let his life fade away by natural causes. He hid himself beneath a pair of sugar palm trees in which a pair of eagles were nesting, that night Thoamabal overheard the eagles talking.

The female asked, “What will we eat tomorrow morning?” The male eagle replied, “We will eat the flesh of Thoamalobal because tomorrow he is going to be beheaded by Kabie Maha Prohm due to his inability to solve the riddles”. The female then asked, “What are the riddles?” The male answered, “The first riddle is, where is luck to be found in the mornine?” Of course the answer is that luck is on the face because people always take water to wash their faces.

The second riddle asked, where is luck located at noon? It is on the chest because people always take water to wash their chests. Finally, the third question asked, where is luck located in the evening? The answer is that luck is on the feet because people always wash their feet in the evening. Thoamabal overheard all of the conversation and so happily returned to his temple. In the morning Kabel Maha Prohm came to ask Thoamabal if he could answer the three riddles.

Thoamabal successfully answered each of the riddles. Kabel Maha Prohm realixing he had failed, called his seven daughters, who were maids of Branma, to learn of his fate.Kabal Maha Prohm said, “Your father is foing to be beheaded in front of Thoamabal. If my head is set on the earth , if will set fire to Earth, if my head is thrown into the air, the rain will evaporate, if my head is thrown into the sea, the sea will dry up. Therefore I ask you, my seven daughters to get a holy metal tray on which to set your father’s head”. Having said this, he beheaded himself and his head was passed to Neang Toungsa, the eldest of his daughters. She placed her father’s head on the holy tray and then proceeded to walk around Mount Meru for one hour, respectfully keeping the tray on her right hand. She then took the tray to the temporary sanctuary of Phnom Kailas. At Phnom Kailas, Preah Visakam created a hall where seven holy glasses (Pheakabatei Saphea) were set. The glasses were for use by angels during ceremonies. Each year the seven angels took turns to invoke the head of Kabel Maha Prohm to and complete a holy procession around Mount Meru. Following the holy procession the angels returned to their heaven.

The Seven Angels of the Almanac: If the annual procession talls on a Sunday then the day will be known as Toungsa, Monday is Kooreak, Tuesday is called Reaksa, Wednesday is Kereney, Friday is known as Kemera and Saturday is Mahaotra.

During the Khmer New Year Festival, youths gather to play popular traditional games such as Chaol Chhoung (throwing a ball) and Bas Angkunh (throwing brown seeds). The youths are normally divided into female and male teams to play these games.

In some parts of Cambodia, e.g. Siem Reap and Battambang, they play a game known as the “Trot Dance”. Trot performers dance and ask for alms from house to house in their village. A man will ride on a long curved stick with a deer’s head on one side and with a cluster of grass on the other side like the deer’s tail. Two men pretend to be hunters and are armed with a crossbow. When they receive alms they will donate it for the benefit of the local pagoda.

In villages along the Mekong Riverinthe province of Kandal women gather to rowboats in front of the pagodas. This action is believed to appease the crocodiles. This custom originated long ago when many crocodiles lived in the river. In some villages, people trample on effigies to appease the ghosts that live in the trees near the pagodas and ask for happiness in the coming year.

The Khmer people will gather together and visit pagodas and temples on the occasion of the Khmer New year. Each year many residents from other provinces visit Angkor Wat to worship to the powerful gods and trace their ancestors’ heritage.

Note: The Twelve years in the lunar calendar

1. Year of Rat

2. Year of Ox

3. Year of Tiger

4. Year of Rabbit

5. Year of Dragon

6. Year of Snake

7. Year of Horse

8. Year of Goat

9. Year of Monkey

10. Year of Rooster

11. Year of Dog

12. Year of Pig

source: Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia
History of Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year has a great history. In our past, people lived in an agricultural society and worked all year long. They only took a break after the harvest and before the planting of seeds. This happens to coincide with the beginning of the lunar New Year.

The Chinese New Year is very similar to the Western one, rich in traditions, folklores and rituals. It has been said that it is a combination of the Western Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. This is hardly an exaggeration!

The origin of the Chinese New Year itself is centuries old - in fact, too old to actually be traced. It is popularly recognized as the Spring Festival and celebrations last 15 days.

Preparations tend to begin a month before the date of the Chinese New Year (similar to a Western Christmas). During this time people start buying presents, decoration materials, food and clothing. A huge clean-up gets underway days before the New Year, when Chinese houses are cleaned from top to bottom. This ritual is supposed to sweep away all traces of bad luck. Doors and windowpanes are often given a new coat of paint, usually red, then decorated with paper cuts and couplets with themes such as happiness, wealth and longevity printed on them.

The eve of the New Year is perhaps the most exciting part of the holiday, due to the anticipation. Here, traditions and rituals are very carefully observed in everything from food to clothing. Dinner is usually a feast of seafood and dumplings, signifying different good wishes. Delicacies include prawns, for liveliness and happiness, dried oysters ( ho xi), for all things good, fish dishes or Yau-Yu to bring good luck and prosperity, Fai-chai (Angel Hair), an edible hair-like seaweed to bring prosperity, and dumplings boiled in water (Jiaozi) signifying a long-lasting good wish for a family. It is customary to wear something red as this colour is meant to ward off evil spirits. But black and white are frowned upon, as these are associated with mourning. After dinner, families sit up for the night playing cards, board games or watching television programmes dedicated to the occasion. At midnight, fireworks light up the sky.

On the day itself, an ancient custom called Hong Bao, meaning Red Packet, takes place. This involves married couples giving children and unmarried adults money in red envelopes. Then the family begins to say greetings from door to door, first to their relatives and then to their neighbours. Like the Western saying "let bygones be bygones," at Chinese New Year, grudges are very easily cast aside.

Tributes are made to ancestors by burning incense and the symbolic offering of foods. As firecrackers burst in the air, evil spirits are scared away by the sound of the explosions.

The end of the New Year is marked by the Festival of Lanterns, which is a celebration with singing, dancing and lantern shows.

At the Festival, all traditions are honored. The predominant colors are red and gold. "Good Wish" banners are hung from the ceilings and walls. The "God of Fortune" is there to give Hong Baos. Lion dancers perform on stage continuously. Visitors take home plants and flowers symbolizing good luck. An array of New Years specialty food is available in the Food Market. Visitors purchase new clothing, shoes and pottery at the Market Fair. Bargaining for the best deal is commonplace!
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