Known as a kingdom of traditional festivals and holidays, Cambodia would be a fascinating destination for those who have interests in culture and history. Today, I would like to present to you some most important festivals in Cambodia that you should not skip when you have chance to travel to this country of ancient towers.
Khmer New Year
As a New Year comes, Cambodian celebrates it in a totally different day from other regions in the world. Khmer New Year or Choul Chnam Thmey (means Enter new year in Khmer language), held on April 13th or 14th every year, is considered to be the most important and meaningful festival of the country marking the end of harvest seasons. During the festival, you will see an empty scene of streets in big cities due to the fact that Cambodian people are all heading towards their hometown to spend most of the time with their beloved family. In particular, they usually burn incenses on the first day of the festival at shrines to worship for luckiness and happiness for the new year. Additionally, this is the time for everyone to dress up, party and reap the fruit of their labour. Khmer New Year would be a highlight of your Indochina tour packages which offers you the opportunity to enjoy special traditional dishes and experience exciting national folk games.
Cambodian Water Festival
Water Festival in Cambodia or Bom Om Tok is known as one of the most essential festivals in Cambodia which marks the reversal of the flow of the famous Tonle Sap River. Every provinces and regions in Cambodia celebrate this festival but the main and biggest event takes place in the Capital City – Phnom Penh. Thus, during the festival many villagers and local Cambodian from different areas both pay a visit to Phnom Penh to join a wide range of activities such as boat racing, eating, drinking, dancing, chilling out with friends and families. At night, after the boat races, you will see people floating on small handmade boats with a lot of candles to enjoy the vibes, friendly chat and talk to the others.
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Known as one of the biggest Religious Festival of Cambodia, Pchum Ben or Ancestor’s Day is another long holiday of the country that reach 15 days off normally from the end of September to mid October. Cambodian people believe that dead people are exiled to hell, a totally different world in comparison to the one that we’re living, where their spirits cannot see the sunlight, drink and eat. Only during Pchum Ben, these spirits are allowed to visit home following invitations and prays from their family. Thus, during the holiday, Cambodian families have to cook many traditional dishes as well as prepare fruits and other specialties to dedicate for their ancestors. This festival plays an important role in Cambodia’s life: Praying for good for themselves, their friends and relatives and showing respect to their ancestor.
Royal Ploughing Ceremony
Traditionally held in May for centuries now, this ceremony marks the beginning of rainy or rice-growing season and considered to be one of the most necessary festivals of the country.
During the ceremony, two chosen oxen are hitched to a plough. While they plough a furrow in some ceremonial grounds, court Brahmins will sow some rice seeds. After ploughing, the oxen are given a lot of plates of food, corn, water, rice wine, which represent the harvest in Cambodia.
If you are eager to learn more about incredibly unique culture of Asian countries, then you should spend time discovering these festivals in Cambodia. Or consider the scenic cruise to Cambodia here: http://topmekongcruises.com/vietnam-to-cambodia-river-cruises