After taking care of some spring cleaning, Cambodians take over Pub Street, dancing into the New Year beneath the fireworks.
Cambodian New Year marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the rainy season which might not sound like a reason to party but it doesn't put off the locals. Most of the festivities take place at the Angkor Archaeological Park. Traditionally, Cambodians spring clean their homes and pray for the rain necessary for bountiful crops and good fortune. Children might wash their grandparents in exchange for some hard earned advice.
The thousands that arrive in Siem Reap have much more in store for them than these humble household activities. There is a penchant for giant things, including a giant chess set, a giant sticky rice cake (previous cakes have weighed over two tonnes) and a giant palm pipe. The bigger the better in other words.
Activities like ox racing, ball games, water fights, tug of war and traditional dancing last until 9:30 p.m. Although, the party continues in the Old Market area much later than that and locals temporarily claim back the tourist strip on the night of the last day. It's safe to say, this lot know how to throw a knees up.
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