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KHMER New Year – Origin, Significance and How its Celebrated!

Khmer New Year

Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country and like many Asian countries, Cambodia celebrates its New Year on a completely different day. The local name for Cambodia is Kampuchea and the country is part of the Indochina Peninsula. Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos are its neighbours and as such, they all have some similarities in their culture and country. This year, the festivities and celebrations will begin on the 14th of April and last till the 16th of April.

Cambodia’s New Year is called Khmer New Year. Pronounced Kh- My. The celebration usually begins on the 13th or 14th of April, depending on the Moha Sangkran which is a type of horoscope that the country follows. Historically, the event was celebrated on the first day of the lunar calendar, which falls in November or December, but later was changed to the 5th month of the Lunar Calendar.

Moha Sangkran, the first day of the New Year, symbolizes the inauguration of the New Angels who will oversee the world for one year. “KimiteaTevi” is the name of the Angel leader. To welcome the New Angels at every home, every individual must clean and decorate their home. Fruits and drinks are also necessary for the New Year’s inauguration.

During this day, the elderly usually like to visit monasteries or temples and pray. Many families also prepare food that they end up offering to the local monks and for kids to mingle with each other and play games. It is also a time when the youngsters are encouraged to date or go out with their significant others. Just like every other festivity, companies and brands can use this time to advertise to the market. Food companies can advertise selling local delicacies or traditional dishes that are prepared during this time. Their target market could be people living away from their families, or families that are too busy to cook. Advertising how food brings families closer together is a great step in the right direction for any business in the food industry.

Furthermore, companies can also use this opportunity to visit local temples and prepare food or serve food to the monks. Not only can this be a part of their corporate social responsibility, but this will help strengthen their brand image and position in the minds of the customers.

On the second day of Khmer New Year, also known as Wanabot, children offer gifts to their parents, grandparents, and elders. A very sweet and beautiful tradition. The people of Cambodia like to share gifts and donate to the underprivileged.

E-commerce brands or retailers, in general, can launch nationwide deals and discounts during Cambodian New Year. While the effects of the global pandemic have definitely died down, the scare and the virus as such haven’t gone away. Brands can advertise faster delivery options and free shipping in order to encourage people to stay at home and be safe. In 2019, the Royal Railway provided free transport during the holidays and government bodies can probably do something similar or the exact same thing this year as well.

Games like Chol Chhoung are often played during Khmer (Cambodian) New Year. This is like a singing battle amongst the participants. Brands can also capitalise on this by funding or hosting these events. The winner of which will receive a gift or a gift voucher of a certain amount. Not only will this boost their interaction with the audience, but this will also help increase brand recognition. Companies that often host or sponsor events and give free prizes to the participants have seen an increase in their brand engagement.

The third and final day is called Leung Sakk. Apart from going to the temple, people also bathe in the statue of Buddha, this event is referred to as Pithi Srang Preah. It is also a time when people ask for forgiveness and looks to mend relationships. Brads can reach out to their customers by offering to build certain packages or customizable gifts that can be offered to one other.

Here are some general tips brans can use to make the most of this holiday, regardless of which country they are visiting:

  • Put up some bright coloured decorations to create an atmosphere of celebration for your customers. New Year is all about happiness and being with loved ones. When people open presents or purchase things in general, they like to see bright colours in the packaging. This will help attract and increase your customer base.
  • Optimizing your social media to post relevant content can help increase traffic and engagement. Offering customers special discounts and voucher through your social media will also increase traffic.
  • Email marketing with special greetings to your most important customers will help increase brand retention.
  • Taking advantage of local celebrities and working in tandem with them to promote your brand is a great way to boost the authenticity of your products. Social media influencers and influencers in general command a high level of authority and respect among the general public.
  • Use relevant keywords and themes while promoting new products during these times. Some themes that can be used are family or togetherness as the New Year’s across all these countries focuses on celebrating with loved ones and family. Using sentimental themes is also a great way to get in touch with your specific target market.

A New Year’s celebration should be filled with joy and happiness. Understanding how your customers interact and how they purchase can help companies sell and promote their products better. As a bonus, it’s also an excellent way to reach out to potential customers who may not know about you yet, so don’t miss out on this opportunity by planning ahead now. It won’t take you long to prepare for your company’s success in the New Year and beyond.

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