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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 11, 2022
Headline for Famous local festivals in Cambodia – Experience the liveliness of Cambodia
Joanna James Joanna James
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Famous local festivals in Cambodia – Experience the liveliness of Cambodia

In a nation that has as much history as Cambodia, there is no surprise that there would be a range of festivals and celebrations that take place all year round. From religious events, festivals and national holidays, there is much to be enjoyed so plan your trip accordingly.


The Victory Day

This is one of the most recent holidays created in Cambodia and is held on the 7th of January. There is much to be understood regarding the reasons this holiday came to be, but the overall view is as follows. This is believed to be the day the start of the fall of the Khmer Rouge began. While power was eventually also, regained from the genocidal dictator, Pol Pot, after four horrible years of atrocities.
Victory Day is now celebrated with a remembrance parade and service in Phnom Penh.


Meak Bochea Day

A festival that has Buddhist origins, it is celebrated during the full moon of the third lunar month, also known as Meak. During this year it was celebrated on the 23rd of January, however, it shifts ever so slightly each year. This celebration is marking the day that the Buddha began preaching to over 1000 monks who had gathered to listen to him. In this event, it is believed that the Buddha had requested that the monks go out and spread his message.
During this festival, many people will give offerings to monks and in the evenings, many will visit temples to listen to sermons and meditate.


The Khmer New Year

This is easily one of the largest celebrations in Cambodia. Also referred to as the Choul Chnam Thmey, this celebration takes place in April each year and will either be on the 13th or 14th of the month. This 3-day long festival will be the time to celebrate the start of the rainy season as well as the end of a good harvest.
For many, this is a time to be with family and engage in religious activities. Many people will also ensure that they pay respect to their elders.
Much for of the city centres, malls and shops will close for the entire week so that employees can get home.
If you are looking to book a boutique hotel in Siem Reap such as Anantara Angkor Resort, be sure to check for availability well in advance as rooms tend to fill up fast during this time.


The Royal Ploughing Ceremony

This is an event that takes place each year and is a throwback to olden practices that are also considered a part of the rituals to be conducted by the royal family.


The Day of Remembrance

While this may not be a happy occasion, it is a sombre public holiday where people will be spending their time at home paying respect to all those who lost their lives in the brutal mass killings by the Khmer Rouge on the 20th of May 1976.