Cambodia is a rich country in festivals and celebrations. Most of the festivals are a great source of enjoyment mostly for the rural population, as people from these places travel to the capital to take part in these festivals and observe the systematized fireworks exhibitions which give life to these festivals. Tourists from all over the world also visit Cambodia for many notable festivals. Some of the important festivals are listed below.
1. Water Festival (October-November)
The water festival which held in later part of the year is considered as the most popular and the extravagant festival in the whole year. Millions of people throughout the country attend this festival every year. It includes boat racing which is a very ancient part of this festival. In the evening glowingly ornamented drifts tour along with the river prior to and admiring the firecrackers exhibitions.
2. Pchum Ben (September)
Pchum ben is one of the most religious and cultural festival of Cambodia which held in September. The natives call this festival of souls, as in this festival people mainly concentrate on the blessings of the souls of relatives, ancestors and also the friends who have been already passed away. The focal point of this festival is mainly the Buddhist temples, mainly Wat Phnom, and the people who take part in this festival visit these shrines and make prayers and offerings. A huge number of religious people take part in this festival.
3. Birthday Celebration of King Sihanouk (October 31)
As the name suggests that this festival is the birthday celebration of famous King Sihanouk which held on the 31st October. There is a large number of the population comes from all the parts of the country comes to the capital to celebrate this day. Sometimes, the water festival and the King’s birthday events coincide and hence it becomes a huge festival resulting in millions of people gathering in the capital. People from rural areas attend and enjoy such events once in a year.
4. Khmer New Year’s Day (April)
Cambodian people celebrate New Year with the Thai New year in April. Actually, it is the new year of Khmer calendar as well as it marks the end of the harvest done during the whole year. People of Cambodia celebrate this event by decorating their homes and hence in a way try to please their Gods. This festival is the best time to visit the country because you can see all the happy faces all over the streets, as this is considered as the most jubilant occasion of the year.
5. Angkor Festival (November and December)
This particular festival is based on the performances of arts in which Angkor art is shown. People from all over the Asian pacific go there and perform their arts on the great stories of the ancient people and myths, which includes Ramayana, and show their culture there. This is a very big festival where people from all over the world participate, even King Sihanouk often attends this festival, as well as many VIPs also attend this spectacular event.