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Renewal and celebrations are two themes of the Theravadin New Year. From Buddhanet.net:
In Theravadin countries, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Lao, the New Year is celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April. In Mahayana countries, the New Year starts on the first full moon day in January. However, the Buddhist New Year depends on the country of origin or ethnic background of the people. As for example, Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese celebrate late January or early February according to the lunar calendar, whilst the Tibetans usually celebrate about one month later.
Nimit talks to us about Buddhist practices and how this holiday is observed locally. She says it’s a three-day celebration. Of all the Buddhist New Year’s this is one of the largest because it encompasses the most cultures.