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    Posted April 13, 2013 by
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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    Bringing in the Khmer New Year


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JimCA2 has lived in Phnom Penh for over twelve years and says that he has seen this celebration many times. He says this same celebration is popular in Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, where they celebrate with water-throwing, which is banned in Phnom Penh. For the people who do not retreat to the countryside during the New Year, they have parties in the streets with tables of fruit, candles, and offerings.
    - jne2013, CNN iReport producer

    At 0212 April 14th, Cambodia officially reigned in the New Year. Traditionally a Buddhist holiday that followed the lunar cycle, it is celebrated on the fixed dates from the 13th to the 16th of April. It also marks the end of the harvest season, before the rains begin.

    Phnom Penh experiences an annual exodus when most of the population heads to the provinces to celebrate with family and loved ones in their villages.

    The streets of the city actually become more pleasant to navigate, though navigation primarily turns into a joy ride as many businesses close shop. Those that do stay in the city will place offerings in front of their homes and businesses to bring in good luck and prosperity for the coming year.

    At the base of Wat Phnom, the Heart of Phnom Penh, fireworks were launched promptly as monks in the wat ceased their chants. Upon completion of a 10 minute barrage of fireworks that echoed through the quiet streets, a few on lookers gathered to take photos in front of the large woven cobra at the base of the wat.

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