by rajaryanme on 08/03/10 at 3:31 am
Siem Reap, a major town in the nation of Cambodia possesses a unique set of traditions, with local customs intermingling with Chinese and colonial influences.
Siem Reap, a major town in the nation of Cambodia possesses a unique set of traditions, with local customs intermingling with Chinese and colonial influences. Although the town has experienced a turbulent history it is now making rapid strides towards development. Siem Reap is now a major tourist destination and accordingly many restaurants and cafes along with other facilities for visitors are now available. Features of interest include craft shops, the unique Apsara dances, rice paddies, silk farms, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary. Siem Reap is the entrance to the renowned Angkor Wat historical complex.
The Cambodian New Year is one of the most important occasions for the Cambodian people. Occurring on the 13th or 14th of April according to the lunar calendar, the New Year celebrations continue for three days. This period marks the end of the harvesting season, when farmers rest and enjoy the fruitful results of their labour.
Each of the three days of the New Year is celebrated with a unique set of customs. Maha Songkran, the first day of the festival, marks the conclusion of a year and the commencement of a new one. Cambodians dress in their finery and visit temples to burn incense and light candles. Each family worships the Buddha and observes the custom of washing themselves with holy water.
Wanabat, the second day of the celebrations is observed by charitable actions, providing assistance to the less fortunate including the poor, homeless people, servants and needy families. Families also engage in a ceremony devoted to their ancestors at monasteries.
The third day of the festival, known as Tngay Leang Saka, is celebrated by cleansing Buddha figures as well as elders with perfumed water. This is considered to be a meritorious action that will result in good luck, longevity, prosperity and happiness.
The New Year is also a time to enjoy special dishes such as kralan, a cake made out of rice mixed with peas or beans, coconut milk and grated coconut, roasted in a stick of bamboo.
For the discerning traveller seeking a luxury hotel Siem Reap, there is no finer choice than the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor. This superb establishment is one of the best 5 star hotel Siem Reap has to offer, with modern amenities in a grand setting.