Postcard Friendship Friday 068: Apsaras and Devatas, more than just decorations on the walls of Angkor Wat

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I am feeling much, much better these days, thanks to my husband for the round-the-clock TLC ^_^ He’s been very patient with me, putting up with my cranky mood as well as my incessant (and terrible) coughing, especially at night. 
Since today is the first day of the Khmer New Year, that is the year 2556, I want to share this postcard of a devata. Apsaras and devatas are sacred women, heavenly angels if you like, and you can see portraits of them inside the walls of the different temples inside the massive Angkor Wat Archaeological complex – Angkor Wat, Bayon, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, just to name a few. Apsaras are said to be the entertainers of the god-king while the devatas serves as the guardians of the great kingdom. Here is a very interesting article about these women of Angkor Wat.

Inside the massive Angkor Wat, visitors will find thousands of images of women carved in the walls. Modern-day researchers believe that these women served much more roles than mere decorations.
Here, and in other Buddhist countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka, among others, the new year is based on astrological calculations. When the old year ends and the new year begins, is also based on these calculations. So today, the 13th of April, is the grand Maha Songkran, or the first day of the Khmer New Year and the celebrations continue up to Sunday, the 15th. Note: Technically, the Khmer New Year begins tonight at exactly 7.11pm, Cambodian time. According to the Buddhist beliefs, heavenly angels known as apsaras and devatas come down to replace the old ones here to watch the earth for a one year period. Read more about Khmer New Year traditions here.

To those interested in these sacred women, here are some of the other faces of devata that are found in the Angkor Wat.

 

Devata faces from the inside wall of the West Gopura at the Angkor Wat.
Photo Source: Devata.org

And here’s another postcard showing the apsaras (in human form?)…

Apsaras performing in front of the world-famous Angkor Wat.
Today, counting the hours before the new year, the locals are cleaning their house. They believe that by cleaning their houses, it drives away the evil spirits. Okay, I’m off now – gotta go clean the house before the New Angel arrives.
And this one’s from my friend, Ilona. Happy Khmer New Year!

3 thoughts on “Postcard Friendship Friday 068: Apsaras and Devatas, more than just decorations on the walls of Angkor Wat

  1. Hello, my dear! ((hugs)) I&#39;m so sorry to hear you&#39;ve been ill. So glad to hear you are better now! I hope you have a lovely lovely day, my Friend.<br /><br />Happy PFF!

  2. Those women are wonderful. ONe of my friends, of Ukrainian heritage, also believes that you need to clean your house from top to bottom on New Years Eve. Interesting how such different cultures can have similar beliefs.

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