New Year’s Day in Cambodia is a huge event, and is usually celebrated on the 13th of April, although sometimes the solar calendar denotes it as the 14th of the month. Referred to as Sus’dei Chnam Thmei in the Khmer language – translated as “enter new year” – the holiday lasts for 3 days.
The 1st day is called Moha Songkran. On that day an angel is appointed to protect the world for the year ahead, and to welcome him people clean and decorate their houses, and offer a table full of fruits, sweets, incense sticks, and flowers.
The 2nd day is called Wanabat, or “day of giving”, and children and the elderly receive gifts, while the poor are given money or clothes.
The 3rd day is called Thangai Leurng Sak or “rank promotion” – and in the streets and in public places people pour water on each other, and young people throw white powder at each other, much like the new year’s celebrations of Thailand and Laos.