Happy New Year: Wat Khmer

Notes: Lao, Thai, Khmer, Burmese, and Nepalese all share the same New Year (Songkarn)!  Instead of going by the Gregorian calendar, this new year coincides with the coming of spring, normally early April, and after Easter.  The warm weather usually brings about outdoor festivals, water splashing, and other raucous activity.  Believe it or not the state of Georgia has all of the above listed communities.  I’ve of course documented the Lao community here for something close to a decade, and hope to cover more cultures as the years go on.  I guess this is my type of American Ethnography, with it being a little different since I do relate with most of the cultures, and am an active participant, enjoying the traditions and the food.  It definitely makes more sense to me, welcoming the start of a “new” year in Spring, as opposed to shivering in the cold with champagne and strangers.  You have that televised, ingrained in our social being, type of new year to kick off the calendar year, then the Chinese New Year, then Southeast Asian New Year, and other cultures sprinkled through the rest of the months.  Lots of opportunities to reboot and get that cleansing good luck.  ‘Cause I really need things to turn around.  See everyone out there!  Happy New Year(s)!!

Wat Khmer Cambodian New Year | Lithonia, GA
(It was raining, so not too many photos)

 

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