Khmer people in southern provinces are celebrating their traditional New Year festival, Chol Chnam Thmay, with joy and happiness.
In border Giang Thanh district of Kien Giang province, one of the country’s largest rice bowls, the bumper winter-spring crop has made locals eager in preparing for the festival. Danh Tuoi, a Khmer man in Vinh Dieu commune, said his family has prepared all necessary things for the festival better than the previous year thanks to profits from the recent crop.
According to Nguyen Thanh Hai, Secretary of the Party Committee of Phu My commune, besides organisingfestive activities, the commune plans to visit and present gifts to the poor so that all local residents can enjoy a happy new year. Lam Tien Dung, Secretary of the Thanh Giang district Party Committee said that since the district was established in 2009, the living standards of localpeople have been much improved with a remarkable reduction in poverty rate and better infrastructure facilities.
In An Giang province, home to over 90,000 Khmer people, the local authorities have visited and presented gifts to 18 local Khmer pagodas, policy beneficiary families and armed forces on the occasion of Chol Chnam Thmay festival. The provincial leaders praised contributions that Khmer people have made to local socio-economic development. They also lauded religious dignitaries’ efforts in mobilising Khmer people to follow the policies of the Party and State and strengthening solidarity in the community.
On the occasion, An Giang leaders also visited and extended New Year greetings to people in the neighbouring Cambodian provinces of Ta Keo and Kandal. The Chol Chnam Thmay festival, which falls annually in mid-April, is one of the most important festivals of the year for Khmer people. It is usually held at pagodas during which people wish and pray for a lucky new year.