Who doesn’t love celebrating festivals? Absolutely no one… but do you, which is the country with the highest number of public holidays in the whole world? Yes, the “Kingdom of Wonder” Cambodia never disappoints in surprising people and is among the best places to visit in 2020. The Cambodia calendar is dotted with festivals, almost 28 holidays in a year. Whoa!!! This is interesting. Along with being architecturally rich, Cambodians find their way out for rejoicing and bonding over the Cambodian festivals.
If you are planning the Cambodia holidays in the coming year, it would be best if you consider visiting this country during their festivals so that you get the chance to understand the Cambodian values and traditions. All the major festivals of the country are decided on the Khmer lunar calendar.
Trip to Cambodia: List of festivals and public holidays will help
Below is the list of festivals and public holidays in Cambodia. So plan your trip to Cambodia accordingly.
Khmer New Year
Falls on: 13th to 15th April’20
Locally known as Choul Chhnam Thmey is the most celebrated festival which you will definitely like on your trip to Cambodia. Locals eagerly wait for the three days festivals, and it marks the onset of the harvest season. The professions are literally on hold for the three days, and farmers go back to their natives to celebrate with the family & take some leisure time off. The family unites, parties in the spring season, and plenty of delicacies are prepared at home. You will find most of the towns empty. If you are planning to visit during this time of the year, book your tickets in advance, or else you may end up paying a hefty amount.
Falls on: 16th September to the beginning of October.
This one is the longest of all the festivals celebrated in the country. The festival lasts for around 15 days but only the last 3 days are given as public holidays in the country. Some of the astonishing names of the festival are: “Hungry ghost festival,” “Festival of the Dead”. Pchum Ben traditionally means “to gather together a ball of food”. Cambodians offer their due respect to their ancestors and believe that the doors of hell are opened and the ghost land upon the earth. Cambodians offer prayers, food to the monks and also visit the pagodas thinking that good merits will reduce the sins of their ancestors.
Bon Om Touk: The Cambodia Water festival
Falls on: November’20
We are sure that on your holidays to Cambodia, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap would already be on your list of places to see in your trip to Cambodia. Cambodians gather at these two popular places and participate in the colorful boat race. The festival symbolizes the ending of the rains and the start of the harvest moon or full moon in the Buddhist month. Surprisingly, more than 2 million Cambodians travel down Phnom Penh making the location chaotic for the tourists.
During this festive period, the Tonle Sap river is believed to change its water flow direction. This is the only water body that changes its direction uniquely. Cambodian suburbs often celebrate this festival by throwing water and talc on each other.
The last day of Pchum Ben is celebrated as Bamboal Krobei, in which people from around the cities travel to Vihear Sour Cheung in Kandal to see the buffalo and horse racing. And yes, you would be happy to see how these animals are decorated with necklaces and headbands. The horns of the buffalo look colorful with the decorative material. However, only skillful persons can join the race. As a tourist, you can definitely witness the entertainment, but make sure that you reach the location by sharp 6 AM.
Cambodian Independence Day:
Falls on: 9th November’20
The independence day of any country has its own emotion and importance amongst the locals. Cambodia’s history was dark and uncelebrated. But after Cambodia marked its freedom from the 90 years of French rule, the celebration of the day started taking place at the Independence Monument. Cambodians of varied professions come together on this day and rejoice together with the ruling King presiding the chair. Ensure that you are at Phnom Penh to witness the best of the celebration at the Royal Palace.
Royal Ploughing Ceremony:
Cambodia and Vietnam are famous for their lush green perpetual paddy fields. And there could be no better reason than to celebrate the onset of the harvest season. Preah Reach Pithi Chrot Neangkol is also celebrated to forecast the coming rice-growing season. The King of the state will give the head start by following the rituals and by plowing a land by oxen.
The animals are left free after three rounds and are allowed to choose between rice, corn, sesame seeds, green beans, grass, water, and wine. Depending on what they pick up to eat, the harvest of the season is predicted. Few of the predictions are mentioned here: Eating of grains means good yield, wine means a flop crop, water indicates flooding, and grass indicates an upcoming animal disease. We are sure that you would love the unique celebration of festivals in Cambodia and have a memorable experience like never before. Check the festival dates and book your tickets using the Cambodia tour package together with Vietnam today!