Culture, Destinations,

Explore the cultural beauty of Chol Chnam Thmay New Year Festival


New Year Festival is the most important cultural event of Vietnamese people of all ethnic groups. New Year Festivals of different groups happen at the different time and with different activities. Visiting Vietnam in your Vietnam family packages, you should explore the unique Vietnamese culture Chol Chnam Thmay New Year Festival of Khmer people.

1. Overview

Like the Tet Nguyen Dan of Kinh people, Chol Chnam Thmay is the New Year celebration of Khmer people. They celebrate this day to wish the best lucks in the upcoming year. Moreover, it celebrates the end of the dry season and welcomes the rainy season and their new crop. They will pray for good weather and a bumper crop.

Chol Chnam Thmay in Vietnam

The New Year Celebration takes place in April or lunar March. There is no fixed day. The celebrating day will be calculated carefully by the astronomers and based on the rotation of the earth around the sun in a year to determine nearly exactly the time and date of celebration for this year. So, if you luckily visit the hometown of the Khmer people during their New Year Celebration in your Vietnam tour for family, you will have the chance to join in this special event.

2. The atmosphere in Chol Chnam Thmay

Visiting the living area of Khmer people in their Chol Chnam Thmay, you will see a bustling atmosphere of Khmer people when they prepare for their Tet holiday. They wear beautifully, neatly and colorfully. They prepare new clothes, foods, rice, meat, alcohol, incense, offering lamps, etc. for offering, inviting guests, and eating during the Tet holiday. Every family decorate the Buddhism altar, clean and decorate their house, and make greeting gates. You can feel the exciting atmosphere in every corner of the land where Khmer people live in your Vietnam tour packages from US.

Chol Chnam Thmay of Khmer people

On the New Year Eve, they put 5 branches of flower, 5 candles, 5 incenses, 5 young rice grains, and many other kinds of fruits. Grandparents and parents will gather their offsprings sitting in front of the ancestral altar, and face the altar, light the incenses, prostrate 3 times to see the old Teveda off, welcome the new Teveda, and pray for good luck. As the Kinh people believe in Tao Quan, Khmer people believe that Tevede is a fairy who was sent to our world to take care of them in a year.

3. The process of Chol Chnam Thmay

Chol Chnam Thmay takes places in 3 days. The first day is called Thngay Chol Chnam Thmay (New Year Day). In that day, they held a ceremony to welcome new Mah Sangkran. It can be held very early or late during that day, as long as it happens in a good time. In this ceremony, they wear new clothes after having a bath thoroughly, then, they bring the offerings to the pagoda, and receive New Year greetings from the monks.


The second day is called Thngay Von-Boch when every family offers the food for the monks at breakfast and lunch. Then, they will receive the wish of the monks. In the afternoon, they do the rite called Puôn phnôm khsach (making a sand dune) in the campus of the pagoda to pray for best luck. This rite is originated from a legend of a hunter and related to the natural power of praying for a bumper crop.

Parade in Chol Chnam Thmay

The last day is called Thngay Lon-sak which means the day they receive a new age. It’s also the main day among three days of the Tet holiday. After offering the foods for the monks in the pagodas, they will do a ritual activity of bathing for the Buddha statue with the scented water. They also bath the elderly in the pagoda. They believe that bathing helps remove the old and dirty things of the old year to hoping for better things in the upcoming year.

Bustling atmosphere of Tet

There are many interesting things you will see and enjoy when joining in this special cultural event of Khmer people in your Vietnam family packages. Just come and explore, you will have an exciting tour in Vietnam.

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