The Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia on Tuesday said it would not hold the Angkor Sankranta celebration this year in Siem Reap province.
In a statement, it said it would instead focus on preparing for Khmer New Year Sankranta celebrations in all cities and provinces in the Kingdom.
UYFC released the statement following confusion over whether it is preparing to hold Angkor Sankranta in Siem Reap this year.
“UYFC will not prepare the national Angkor Sankranta in Siem Reap for 2019 because the working group wants to take this opportunity to prepare for the New Year Sankranta in every city and province and also to review events that took place last year so that next year’s Angkor event will be much better,” it said.
Meanwhile, UYFC is encouraging its provincial and city members to prepare Sankranta in all areas in order to promote culture, the arts and Khmer traditions and make Khmer New Year celebrations a joyous occasion for all Cambodians.
UYFC said that since 2013, the Angkor Sankranta celebration has been growing in popularity each year and boosts tourism which is the main source of revenue for Siem Reap province.
It noted that the celebration has also resulted in world-record breaking events such as the Madison dance, involving 2,015 participants, and a 4.04 tonne sticky rice cake.
“UYFC is committed to preparing the Angkor Sankranta celebration again next year to bring joy to the Cambodian people during Khmer New Year,” the statement added.
On March 22, Siem Reap Provincial Hall held a meeting to prepare for the New Year Sankranta in the province. Tea Seiha, Siem Reap governor, noted there were no preparations for Angkor Sankranta this year.
He said that the province, however, would prepare to make the Siem Reap Sankranta celebration a big event just like Angkor Sankranta.
“The Siem Reap Sankranta will give a chance to the people, especially youths, and tourist to understand Khmer traditions,” Mr Seiha said.
He said that the provincial authorities are preparing security, safety and public order measures and putting up decoration lights along all streets in the province to attract more tourist.
UYFC also announced on Tuesday that in collaboration with Prey Veng provincial authorities it will hold large-scale Sankranta celebrations in Prey Veng city from April 13 to April 16.
It said the Prey Veng Sankranta will showcase Khmer products, performances, Khmer boxing and popular traditional games.
Sar Sokha, provincial UYFC president, announced on his Facebook page yesterday that provincial authorities are in the midst of tidying up streets for the celebration.
“The provincial authorities are preparing for Sankranta by cleaning up the streets and beautifying Prey Veng city to make the celebration a notable and safe occasion for the people,” he said.