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Cambodian New Years Customs: April 13th is Cambodian New Year’s Eve and it lasts three days. It is called Chaul Chnam Thmey which means Entering the New Year. Houses and home altars are cleaned to welcome the New Angel (Guardian of the New Year). Homes are decorated with flowers, balloons, gold, silver, red, white, or green streamers. Altars hold five candles, five incense holders, perfumed water to wash the Buddha, fruit, flowers, and rolled banana leaves. There is a religious service New Year’s morning and the monks are fed by the people afterwards. People douse each other with water as a blessing. Water can be colored red, pink, or yellow to symbolize a colorful future.
Foods:  Curried chicken is eaten with rice. Dessert cakes made of sticky rice with banana are made to honor the Hindu god Shiva. A sticky rice cake with sweet ground beans honors Shiva’s wife Uma. New Clothing is worn. Children give money to their parents, aunts, uncles as a sign of respect. They may also give food or fruit in addition. (2)
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