PHNOM PENH, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen sent his greetings to overseas Chinese in Cambodia on the Spring Festival, blessing them with good luck, fortune and happiness in the New Year.
"On the occasion of the Chinese traditional New Year -- the Year of Horse, in the status of the prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I'd like to join the celebrations with all brotherly Chinese people who have always lived and shared difficult and happy times together for decades," the prime minister said in a message sent to the Chinese Association in Cambodia Thursday, which was released to the media Friday.
"May the New Year bring luck, fortune and prosperity to all brotherly people," he said.
Chinese New Year is the most important festival in China, which marks the end of winter and the start of spring.
It is not a public holiday in Cambodia, but commonly celebrated, said Samrang Kamsan, a secretary of state at the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.
"Chinese New Year is the second largest new year celebration in Cambodia after the Khmer New Year," he told Xinhua. "Nearly all of the Cambodian people celebrate the Chinese New Year."
He said the broad celebration is thanks to the country's respect for cultural diversity and most importantly, many Cambodians having Chinese descent.
According to the figures of the Chinese Association in Cambodia, over 700,000 Chinese descendants are living in Cambodia.