Creation, charity, and cleansing: Nonotuck Resource Associates wishes our community a Happy Khmer New Year! A holiday chock full of celebration over the course of three days, Khmer new year (also known as Cambodian new year) usually begins on either April 13 or 14, and is meant to mark the end of the harvest before the rainy season in Cambodia. This year, the new year will be celebrated from April 14-16.
Each day of the celebration is built around specific themes:
Day one, ‘ known as Maha Songkran,’ is a day celebrating the creation of the world. In Khmer tradition, people clean their houses to welcome God’s angels, who created the world. Families will often place an idol of Buddha on an altar on this day.
Day two, known as “Vanabot” or “Virak Wanabat,” is a time to think of the less fortunate. People offer charity by helping the poor, servants, and homeless. Families may go to monasteries to pay respect to their ancestors, and it is also a time for family members to exchange gifts.
On the third day of New Year celebrations, known as “Leang Saka,” Buddhists wash and clean statues of Lord Buddha with scented water to ensure that Cambodia receives all the water it needs in the coming year. Another tradition is for children to bathe their parents and grandparents in return for blessing and good advice for the future.
Celebrate Khmer New Year with the events below, all taking place in Massachusetts.
Learn how Nonotuck developed a love-based ideology of care. We started our shared living program as an alternative to group homes for people with disabilities. Instead, Shared Living creates genuine life transformation for people with disabilities, as well as families and communities. The true power of caregiving is found through hospitality, authenticity, and love.