April 14-16, 2017 – Celebrating Khmer New Year

Angkor wat

Water Gun Fights at Angkor Wat!

See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskYgSf2E 

Khmer New Year is three packed days of rejoicing, water gun fights, talcum powder throwing, and partying. During this time, a three day festival is held in front of Angkor Wat temple called Angkor Sankranta which includes performances, shows, martial arts demonstrations, traditional games, dancing, and great food. I believe this is one of the only times that Angkor Wat Temple is decorated with hundreds of lights which can be seen just after sunset. I loved walking around and having water gun fights with everyone! If you’re carrying a water gun, you’re fair game. That includes when you’re walking on streets, on motorbikes or in cars, and sometimes inside buildings.

Angkor Sankranta also included oxcart and buffalo racing on a nearby field (check out the video in link above). I went with a couple friends and witnessed some extremely fast cows! It was also boiling hot that day so everyone was huddled under umbrellas.

In the evenings, Pub Street has a large stage set up at one end where famous Cambodian singers performed. Everyone stands in the street to watch, making it feel like at though you are in a sardine can. Some of my friends and I even got to go up on stage and dance! Every night of the New Year, you get completely soaked with water and your face has smears of talcum powder all over it. What an amazing way to celebrate the New Year!

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