LHM staff in Cambodia and Myanmar are enjoying some time off this week to celebrate their traditional New Year, which began on April 12. People will travel long distances to visit their families, and most businesses will close. The New Year, which is also called the Water Festival, is a national holiday that is celebrated in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Yunnan Province in China. This festival marks the end of the dry season, and it occurs during the hottest month of the year.
In Myanmar, people anticipate the coming of the rainy season by trying to give each other a good-natured dousing. Young and old bring out their buckets, hoses, and water guns to drench each other in the streets. The water is believed to wash away the bad luck of the previous year. After the fun, younger people are expected to visit their old relatives as a sign of respect. Although public gatherings are usually forbidden by the government, they are allowed during this celebration.
The festivities in Cambodia also include purification rituals. People wash in holy water for good luck, and they clean their houses to prepare for spring. They will also spend a day helping those who are less fortunate than themselves.
LHM hopes their staff in these countries will enjoy their holiday and return to the ministry refreshed and excited to do God’s work.