Khmer New Year History (Part 3)

khmer new year history


We are continuing writing about the Khmer New Year History (Part 3) for you after part one, which talking about the reason of celebrating the Khmer year and names of goddesses who is the seven daughters of Kabel Moha Brahma and part two make more detail of traditions during celebrating the new year. Then hope you enjoy this continued article by focusing on the meaning of sand stupa, and the merit or consequence of practicing the tradition activities in the Khmer new year. Please read the full article below.

What is SAND STUPA?

Sand Stupa, the simple word is called “sand hill”. This mound is made of pure sand, pour in the middle of a designated courtyard, and people pile up in the shape of a stupa by facing east was called Vealoka Chaydei (Sand Stupa). Represents the Chulamni stupa built to bury the head and chin of the Buddha. This mound is now popular in some areas, mounding rice, and the Buddhists mound the rich or sand in the dining hall or in the temple as well.

The sand hill that people piled up are not limited to small, high or low, but they build according to the satisfaction of the builder. But there needs to be a mountain in the middle and four small hills around in all four directions. Around the hills, there is a royal fence (Reach Vatt) decorates with coconut leaves, shaped as square around the hills, with doors in all four directions. Around the royal fence, there are deity’s altar in all eight directions.

On each devas’ altar, a pair of Slarthoi (Section of a banana leaf stem or green banana fitted with a stand and decorated, with betel leaves, areca nuts and flowers), a pair of Baysei (Section of banana tree trunk with legs to which 1 layer of banana leaves rolled up in finger shape have been attached), five Candles, five incense sticks, flowers, and lighting or burning a candles and an incense to offer or pray.

In front of sand stupa, outside the royal fence, three other large pavilions (altars) prepared for offering to the Yum Reach (the Guardian of Hell and judge of the dead) the middle pavilion, on the left is the Yumreach’s altar is the altar for praying the Buddha, and on the right is the deity’s altar for praying to the Lord Vishnu (Lord Narayana) of the three great deities. These three large altars arrange in the same way as the devas’ altar, but Baysei build up to nine stories or layers high, and there are the clothes on the left and the right, and there are also offerings the alcohol for the gods. The constructions of these sand stupas determine that the builders will receive a very special merit or get good result in their life, the same as appear in the story “Merit of Sand Stupa”, a Mahasamkar Sutra.

MERIT OR CONSEQUENCE

Merit of Give Water to Parents and Monks

The Buddha reveals that you will get the merits when you offer the foods clothes, give water to people, and other materials and do some social activities on the occasion of the end of the old year and the new coming year.

For people who give water to their parents, teachers, abbots or monks on the occasion of Sankranti or Khmer new year, the Buddha’s consequences are below:

  • They are the kings of the earth.
  • Consequence of having great power in their life.
  • They will get seven of precious possession.
  • There are beautiful women surround them.
  • They have many body guards, and
  • Merit is happy all the time.
Khmer New Year History
Cambodian people and Buddhist monk are give the water to their parents during the Khmer new year

The results of giving the water to the monks are:

  • No matter where you born on the planet or on the earth, you always had a beautiful and clear image to the people.
  • You will be admirable person.
  • Consequence of having a sharp wisdom and brave.
  • You will be the supporter of the Sutras and the Vinaya (disciplines).
  • To become the supporter and finisher of the Buddha’s Tripitaka (three baskets of Buddha’s books),
  • Have the longest-lived of all nations.
  • You will have wife, son or daughter and relatives are wise people and noble.

Merit of Release Animals

The merit or consequence of releasing animals, such as chickens, bantengs, birds, fishes, turtles, etc., such as follow:

  • You will get more the power because of releasing the beast.
  • Will have the long-lived constantly.
  • you will get more prosperous in life.
  • you will get free from diseases and persecution from others.

These are the many merit and good results of the New Year. Therefore, on the occasion of the New Year, people always release animals and celebrate various festivals in order to receive those benefits.

Waiting Next Article on Khmer New Years History

For continuing read the Khmer new year history, please click here Khmer New Year History Part 4. Due to the Khmer New Year History is the long article, thus we would like to separate the article into many parts.

The next article will illustrate on more detail on the merit, consequence, or good result of constructing the sand stupa in the Khmer new year.

Read more articles here:

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Thanks for reading this article, if you have any questions, doubts, or discussions please drop your comments in the comment’s box below.


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3 thoughts on “Khmer New Year History (Part 3)”

  1. The release of animals and the belief that by the power of releasing the beast you will enjoy a long and prosperous life without hardships and evil works of others, free from disease; indicates favor given for freedom. In today’s world with so many restrictions on people’s freedoms blamed on covid; I wonder how many humans dream of being set free as these animals. Governments need to carefully consider, as a consequence of their actions, people feel oppressed and caged. With the freedom given again; will the governments of the world prosper and avoid persecution? Would this hold true in this tradition?

  2. Hello. This is a very interesting history of a nation. I’ve learned a lot through this blog of yours that I’ve never heard before. I would like our children and future generations to be more interested in the culture and traditions of other nations, as they lived before and as they do now in some nations.

    1. Thanks sister is a good tradition and the oldest nation’s culture in the world. I am very appreciated with your comment and hope one day you brink your family to visit Cambodia. 

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