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A traditional Apsara dance show in front of Bayon Temple was a feature of last year’s celebration.
A traditional Apsara dance show in front of Bayon Temple was a feature of last year’s celebration. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Angkor Sangkran on again during the New Year period

The Angkor Sangkran celebration will again be a feature of Khmer New Year’s observances in Siem Reap. This is the second year the Sangkran will be held, but this year it will be bigger, more exciting and more interesting than last year, according to Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia spokesman, Som Ratana.

He added that the Angkor Sangkran will be celebrated in front of Angkor Wat temple, Bayon Temple, and Elephant Terrace, along the Siem Reap River, in the Angkor Gyeongju area and in Pub Street.

“We decided to increase the number of places where we will hold the celebration,” he said. “It is very different to last year’s festivities. We added three more areas for special modern concerts and trade fairs, along with cultural activities such traditional Khmer games and dancing.”

Visitors will be able to participate in traditional Khmer games, such as the Bas Angkunh or seed throwing, Haol Chhoung or twisted-scarf throwing, and Leak Kanséng or twisted-scarf hiding. Participants will also be able to dance together to traditional Khmer songs.

Angkor Sangkran celebrates the end of the harvesting season from April14-16, when farmers enjoy the fruits of their labor before the rainy season begins.

“The event was a great success last year and after we held it, many people suggested that we stage the celebration again this year,” Som Ratana said. “So we decided to do it and improve it by adding handmade and commercial goods exhibitions and food exhibitions to the traditional games and dancing to make it more exciting.”

He said this year’s Angkor Sangkran will enable the young generation to understand the progress of Cambodia since the empire period until today.

Last year, more than 3,000 Cambodian youths, actors and actresses participated and welcomed more than 180, 000 local and international visitors during the New Year period, Ratana said. This year the numbers are expected to increase.

The celebration is held in cooperation with Siem Reap provincial authorities, the Apsara Authority and relevant ministries such as the Tourism Ministry, Information Ministry, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.

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