Angor Wat at Sunrise

Cambodia to postpone Khmer New Year Holidays

Asia Coronavirus

As part of the ongoing measures to to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, the Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, has postponed the Khmer New Year public holidays scheduled from April 13th to 16th 2020.

Chhin Ketana, secretary-general of the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals, had recently said that all public gatherings for the new year will be prohibited in a bid to curb virus risks.

“We will still observe the Khmer New Year as usual. However, this year, people would have to do so in the confines of their homes following the government’s ban on all public gathering events to help mitigate the spread of the virus,” said Mr Ketana.

Hun Sen has promised to compensate Cambodians and declare a five-day holiday at a more suitable time.

He told all government officials, the private sector, and factory workers to continue working as usual.

Speaking in a special press conference, the Prime Minister said the decision was made to contain Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom.

“A holiday for three days … what do you need it for when people in the countryside are afraid of getting infected by you, and you are also afraid of getting infected by them,” Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen appealed to the public not to return to their hometowns or visit any resort during this time.

A few weeks ago, Thailand announced that it would also be postponing its public holidays for Songkran until later in the year.

Khmer New Year, also known as Cambodian New Year is usually a three-day public holiday in Cambodia. In Khmer, it is called ‘Chaul Chnam Thmey’, which means ‘enter the new year’.

It is based on the traditional solar new year, that was observed in parts of India and Asia.