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Khmer people welcome traditional New Year festival amid Covid-19 pandemic

by T.N15 April 2020 Last updated at 07:00 AM

VTV.vn - This year’s Chol Chnam Thmay, the traditional New Year festival of Khmer people in Ho Chi Minh City is special as it takes place amid the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To strictly follow the government’s national social distancing order, Khmer people celebrate the festival at their own home instead of going to local pagodas as usual.

Duong Thi Rum, living in District 5, joyously prepares for the festival with hopes on a prosperous upcoming year. She said: “We celebrate the festival and worship our ancestors at home and refrain from gathering or meeting friends as we normally did on this occasion. Staying at home is a way we keep ourselves and others’ health safe.”

Candarasi pagoda in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, a place where Khmer people gather to celebrate their New Year, called on their Buddhist followers to welcome the festival at home. Most Venerable Danh Lung, Abbot of the pagoda, said that although the followers can’t join in all rituals and ceremonies at pagodas, but the festival is still meaningful when being held at home. He said: “I hope that all Buddhist followers could pray from their homes following the Prime Minister's Directive 16 on 14-day nationwide stay-at-home and social distancing.”

Ho Chi Minh City has more than 50,400 Khmer people, living in districts 1, 3, 5, 10, 11 and Tan Binh. This year’s Chol Chnam Thmay Festival lasts for three days, from the 14th to 16th of April.

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