New Yeas's Day in Cambodia

April 17 , 2001

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New Year's Day is 13-15th of April, same as in Thai, Myanmar and Laos. The Water festival to celebrate New Year in Cambodia is far more modest than in Thai and Myanmar. I was afraid that I would get completely drenched, over and over again, and wouldn't be able to travel during the festival.

However, surprisingly I hardly got wet. Thais love to soak foreigners, they chase us around armed with full baskets of water. Cambodians cruise the town on trucks, shooting/throwing water at each other, but they never threw the water over us. Only a few kids shot at us with water pistols.

They use powder rather than water. Looks like baby powder to me.
The powder shooters target young girl victims, as they do in Thai and Myanmar.
The powder is harmless.

Next to the Wat Phnom Pagoda I came across an unusual game played by young men and women.

 All the men stand on one side and women the other.


 One man and one woman come out to the center, a tree branch is placed on the ground between them. The man tries to pick it up, but the girl spank hims whenever he tries. Then she takes it and runs back to the women's territory.

The Wat Phnom is the center of the festival.

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