Tag: Khmer Traditions

Sundays Are Red, Fridays are Blue, Pumpkin-Spice Colored Skirts Are Totally in Too


Red is for Sunday,
Monday is orange that looks truly like the divine Moon,
Purple is reserved for Tuesday,
Wednesday is the beautiful green of the liep plant.
Thursday is the yellowish green of the young banana palm,
Happy Friday is blue, and must be neat and tidy,
Saturday is the color of ripe pring,
As passed down by the ancients.

According to Khmer tradition, each day of the week is associated with a certain color. And that color is linked to a certain divinity that is venerated on that day. People are advised to dress each day according to the color of the presiding divinity to bring health, prosperity, and happiness to their lives. In the olden days, women would dress accordingly every day. Nowadays, this doesn’t really occur except at formal functions where you would see women wearing the same color of skirts and shawls.

When the Dead Still Suffer


Credit: Smithsonian

On the 1st day of the 10th month of the Khmer calendar, Lord Yama, the God of Death opens the gates of hell that will remain open for the next 15 days. It’s Pchum Ben in Cambodia, also known in English as All Souls Day or Festival of the Dead. It is the most important festival on the Khmer religious calendar. This year, Pchum Ben falls September 6 to 20 on the Gregorian calendar. (I’m a bit late with this post.)