Festivals and Events in Cambodia

Most of the festivals in Cambodia are tied to Theravada Buddhist rituals. These festivals are a great way to understand Cambodian culture, values and traditions. People from all over the country come to the capital to see fireworks and other festivities that take place during these events. The festivals are often decided on the basis of the Khmer Lunar Calendar.

There are also celebrations and events in Cambodia that are secular, such as the Independence Day which is celebrated in November. This event celebrates the independence of Cambodia from France after 90 years of colonisation. The presiding King of Cambodia presides over this event and Cambodians from all over the country come together to celebrate their independence. Another festival that is of huge significance here is the Choul Chhnam Thmey or Khmer New Year. Celebrated every year in April, this sees people with Khmer roots taking time off to spend a few days with close family and friends. If you’re planning a visit to Cambodia, do remember to check the SOTC website for offers and deals on Cambodia holiday packages.  

Here are some of the famous festivals in Cambodia.

Pchum Ben is also known as the “Hungry Ghosts Festival” or “Festival of Dead”. On this day, Cambodians pay respect to 7 generations of their ancestors. This usually involves a food offering ritual in the pagodas.

This festival is celebrated in February by monks from all over the country who come together to commemorate the time when Lord Buddha gave a sermon to the 1250 monks who had gathered at Rajagaha Valuwan Vihara.

On this one day, all the three important events of Buddha’s life – birth, enlightenment and nirvana – are celebrated as Buddhists in Cambodia pray to Lord Buddha and donate food and clothes to local monks.

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