It's April 12th and the Cambodian New Year is right around the corner.
It was crazy today. So many people were out making last minute gifts/offerings purchases. The busy road kicked up more dirt than usual causing the already cramped roads to be a bit more difficult to walk in. I can't imagine what New Years will be like. My family says everyone comes to Battambang to celebrate the New Year, so the traffic we experienced today probably does not compare to what is coming in the next few days. Someone compared today to 'America's Christmas Eve shopping day.'
We are realizing how big of an event the New Year is for the Cambodians. We had an idea since we knew the celebration lasts for three days. Though we learned that most businesses will close shop for all three days for the holiday. Some have already closed their doors today. As Laurel, Susan, Saran and I went to the Tourism Department to get more traveling information during the holiday, a women who lived there told us that the person who worked there already left their shift. We made it there before they closed, though the woman clarified that the person has already left for home to celebrate the New Year and that the person would not be back until next week.
The hype continues to build and we are all anxious to experience the New Year with family and friends.