While traditional almanacs predict the Year of the Ox will be inauspicious for Cambodians, many say otherwise
San Vannak tells the fortune of a customer on the riverside Sunday. The soothsayer said that this week his customer numbers have doubled as many people seek to know their fate for the Year of the Ox.
The Year of the Ox will be ushered in this Tuesday at 1:36am, and Cambodians are busy preparing fruits and flowers to offer to the angel Reaksadevi.
According to traditional almanacs, this year is an inauspicious one for Cambodia, bringing suffering and loss. However, officials argue that such predictions are rarely true and should be ignored.
The Year of the Ox is symbolically begun by Reaksadevi, a female angel who, according to legend, rides into Cambodia on the back of an ox, said religious adviser Prom Din.
"This year the angel is to drink blood, so Khmer people are afraid that there will be problems in our country. It is my prediction that we won't have any problems, and we shouldn't be worried," Prom Din said.
The Moha Sangkran Almanac, a traditional almanac adorned with pictures of the Buddha and published in time for Khmer New Year, agrees that this year will not be a good one for Cambodians.
The almanac predicts that farmers in particular will face many problems, as it anticipates a large flood. According to the almanac, only half of the crops will be available for harvest, and the other half will be destroyed.
"This year there will be storms, with rain early and in the middle of the year, but less rain at the end of the year. The people will face chaos throughout the country. They will not have enough food and will be afraid of death," the Moha Sangkran predicts.
This year the angel is to drink blood, so khmer
people are afraid that
there will be problems...
Chea Kean, deputy secretary general of the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals, disagreed with the Moha Sangkran predictions.
"Some people are afraid because this year the angel drinks blood, but I think they shouldn't worry about it.... I think sometimes the predictions of fortune-tellers are wrong," Chea Kean said.
It remains to be seen whether this year's Moha Sangkran prediction, and the ominous blood-drinking of the angel Reaksadevi, are accurate prophesies for the year ahead. In the meantime, Prom Din says: "This year, we all just have to do good and help each other in order to avoid bad things happening to us."