Cambodia celebrates several national holidays throughout the year. Here are some of the major holidays observed in Cambodia:
- Khmer New Year (Chaul Chnam Thmey) – April 13th to 15th: This is one of the most important holidays in Cambodia, marking the traditional New Year based on the Khmer calendar. It is a time of celebrations, family gatherings, and religious ceremonies.
- International Labor Day – May 1st: This holiday is observed worldwide and commemorates the achievements of workers. It is a public holiday in Cambodia, and some businesses and government offices may be closed.
- King Norodom Sihamoni’s Birthday – May 14th: This day celebrates the birthday of the current King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihamoni. It is a national holiday, and various festivities and events take place across the country.
- Royal Ploughing Ceremony – Usually in May: This ancient ceremony marks the beginning of the agricultural season in Cambodia. It is held in Phnom Penh, and the King or his representative performs the ceremony, predicting the year’s agricultural prospects.
- King Father’s Birthday (Norodom Sihanouk) – October 31st: This holiday commemorates the birthday of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk, who played a significant role in Cambodian history. It is a public holiday, and special events and tributes are organized.
- Independence Day – November 9th: This day commemorates Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953. It is a national holiday marked by various ceremonies, parades, and cultural performances.
- Water Festival (Bon Om Touk) – Usually in November: This is one of the most significant festivals in Cambodia, celebrated over three days. It coincides with the reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River. Festivities include boat races, fireworks, and illuminated floats.
These are some of the main holidays in Cambodia, but there are other religious and cultural festivals celebrated by specific communities as well. It’s important to note that exact dates for some holidays may vary each year, so it’s advisable to check the official calendar for the specific year you plan to visit.
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