New Year Angel of the ox Year, Buddhist Era 2564

Angel Mondar Tevy (The Wednesday Angel)  arrives at 4 am in the morning of April 14 – Cambodian time. She is the fourth daughter of Kabil Moha Prum. People in Cambodia have prepaired and decorated their houses also with special gifts to welcome the New Year Angel.

The characteristics of Angel Mondar Tevy
Angel Mondar Tevy wears a fragrant Plumeria flower which is tucked behind her ear. Around her neck she wears cat’s eye gemstones. She drinks milk and carries a needle on her right hand, a cane on her left hand and Mondar rides the donkey.

plumeria khmer hew year angel mondar tevy
Blossoms of the Plumeria

What are the offering to welcome Mondar Tevy, the New Year Angel?

The most typical decoration – but it can vary by region and also practice in families and communities:

  1. A statute or picture of Buddha
  2. 5 incense sticks and 5 candles
  3. A pair of decorated young banana tree
  4. 3 kinds of fruits, each of them prepared into 2 trays
  5. Small jasmine flower braids to put on every offering
  6. And the special offering for Mondar Tevy: Fresh Milk

Finish with preparation and waiting for the Angel to come down to earth. 

Khmer-New-Year-2016-Angel-MondarTevy (3)
4 am, Cambodian Time – April 14, 2021 – Welcome to Angel Mondar Tevy, Photo credit: Lee Heng Hoeurng

The Year of the Ox begins

The Cambodian New Year also marks the simultaneous beginning of the Year of the Ox, 2564 BE in the Buddhist calendar. The abbreviation BE means “before the Buddhist era”, as 543 BC (before Christ) is the first year of the Buddhist calendar. And with Visak Bochea on 18 May on the birthday of Buddha, the year 2565 BE begins in the Buddhist calendar. A slightly different calendar than we are used to ;-)

2021: A quiet three-day New Year celebration

Traditionally, the Cambodian New Year is aligned with the solar new year and falls on either 13 or 14 April. It marks the end of the harvest before the rainy season begins. Typical of Asian countries, Cambodians also celebrate “our” New Year’s Eve in imitation of Western countries, although it is not actually a public holiday.

“Sus’Dei Chnam Thmei” or “Chaul Chnam Thmey -> Welcome to the New Year, will be much quieter this year. Normally, many events, festivities and games take place as part of the New Year celebration. The whole country is on its feet. Khmer families come together and there are real water fights in the streets. They go back to blessings according to Buddhist tradition: water. Lots of water.

khmer new year water
In 2021, these scenes will be rare due to Corona.

Khmer New Year around the World

Khmer-New-Year-2016-Angel-MondarTevy (5)
Photo Credit: Boromey Raabe

Khmer people who live in other countries celebrate their Khmer New Year around the world. This lovingly decorated table is located in Germany. (Click on the photo to see in full size)

May this Year of the ox will be full with happiness, health, success, love and prosperity for all!

We wish all a very Happy Khmer New Year 2021!  And we wish, that you enjoyed the Khmer New Year celebrations!

Read more about “Sus’Dei Chnam Thmei” – the 3-day festival to celebrate the New Year in Cambodia

Read more about “Sus’Dei Chnam Thmei” – the 3-day festival to celebrate the New Year in Cambodia and the legends about Khmer New Year.

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