Cambodia Holidays | Why Locals Are Looking Forward to Them

Only a few of Cambodia holidays are popular and are looking forward to celebrated by many. Even though Cambodia is considered one of the countries that contain a lot of public holidays. Those popular Cambodia holidays are either long or related to the religious. Why long Cambodia holidays are popular? The answer is Cambodians love traveling across the provinces during the holidays.

They either travel to famous destinations or their hometown visiting their relatives. You will see that during the holidays the city, Phnom Penh, is as silent as the grave. It is one of the reasons why some people prefer to stay in the city and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. However, the downfall is that most of the stores and restaurants are closed. So if you are planning to visit Cambodia during its holiday, we recommend you to visit the popular destination where people enthusiastically celebrate the Cambodia holidays with varieties of events and activities.

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Why Locals Are Looking Forward to Cambodia Holidays

Cambodia New Year

- Cambodia Holidays
Source: Borei Angkor Resort & Spa

Cambodia New Year is one of the most important holidays in Cambodia. It is a holiday that Cambodian celebrates Lunar New Year. This Cambodia holiday coincides with the traditional lunar New Year in several countries in Asia such as Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, etc. Khmer New Year is celebrated for three days every year, and it usually happens on April 13 or 14th. It seems that from ancient time, Cambodian choose to celebrate this holiday in April because it is the end of the harvesting season. Meaning that farmers are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor before the beginning of the rainy season.

- Cambodia Holidays
Source: Borei Angkor Resort & Spa

During this festival, people who live far away from their parents or relatives, return to their hometown to their beloved ones. People usually go to pagoda and prepare the offerings to welcome the new god on the first day of Cambodia New Year. While in the next two days, some would spend time with their families or take a trip to visit places together.

Source: Flickr “Rob Kroenert”

The most attracting destination in this Cambodia holiday is Siem Reap, the archeological site. Not only popular among foreigners, but Siem Reap is also a popular place to spend the holiday for the locals. Nevertheless, this town becomes a little special during this Cambodia holiday. Around Angkor sites such as in front of Angkor Wat and around Bayon temple, the government set up a festival called Angkor Sangkran. Here’s the Tips to entertain your night in Pub Street Siem Reap!!

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Source: Intrepid Travel

Angkor Sangkran happens for the whole three days of Cambodia New Year. This giant festival allows visitors to experiences Khmer traditional games, shows, dance, and food. Furthermore, some exhibitions show all of the identity of Khmer culture. The decoration and the setting of the festival bring you back to ancient time. Besides, admiring the temples, people can also learn more about Khmer culture, that is why this festival attracts thousands of people every year.

Water Festival

Source: Flickr “ktgauld”

The water festival is another major Cambodia holiday. Similar to Cambodia New year, this holiday also lasts for three days. It usually happens in November each year, however, there are years when the Water Festival is celebrated in late October.

Also, there are many stories about the background of the Water festival, one story shows that this festival was first celebrated in the 12th century under the time of King Jayavarman VII. This festival was celebrated to make made the gods happy and secured good harvests of rice and fish in the upcoming year.

Source: Flickr “graspnext2”

Water festival is an interesting holiday. People celebrate it with boat racing, which is believed to firstly prepared as an army training activity by King Jayavarman VII. The king is believed to have a lot of battle with enemies by sailing so he set up this as a part of Water festival every year to choose Champion. This boat racing continues to happen until today. Every year the government would prepare a competition for the boat racer to compete in the River.

Source: Flickr “lenmoroz99”

Another part of the Water Festival is Sampeah Preah Khae or Moon festival which people offer their respect or greeting to the moon. People usually gather together in the Pagoda or house at midnight. They burn the incense with offering such as Banana, coconut, flower, and Ambok.

Source: Flickr “Anders Thorsell”

Interesting places to celebrate this Cambodia Holiday is Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Battambong. People normally travel to these towns, as its celebration of the festival is enormous than the others. These towns prepare boat racing three days in a row accompany with the concert and exhibition for products and food around the boat racing areas. The highlight part of the celebration probably is the astonishing firework, which people are looking forward to every year.

International New Year’s Day

- Cambodia Holidays
Source: “Flickr Andrew _ B”

Just like the other countries, Cambodian celebrates the international New year’s Day every year on 31 December. Although it happens only a day, many love this celebration. If you want to have a great time in Cambodia during this holiday, you should go to Siem Reap or Sihanouk Ville. Both towns are the most popular places for people to celebrate this Cambodia Holiday.

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Source: “Hans-Jörg Groß Flickr”

Pub Street where people enjoy their nightlife in Siem Reap is crowd during International New Year’s Day. In pub street area, people dance and drink in the street. We can hear the music from every restaurant and pub. Also, concerts are setting up for people to enjoy while waiting for countdown. You can enjoy the celebration by participating in the water throwing game in the pub street area which is the most popular activity.

Source: Flickr “Hecktictravels”

However, there is another option to choose which is to sit on any rooftop bars having some drinks while waiting for the New Year. You will able to enjoy the amazing view of the fireworks over the city. Furthermore, if you prefer a more romantic atmosphere, go to Sihanouk Ville. People in there celebrate this holiday in front of the sea. With the wave sounds and cold fresh air, you sure will have a lovely time waiting for the New Year.

Although there are many interesting Cambodia Holidays, we still prefer Cambodia New Year. Khmer New Year is like a bonding time for family which one gets to spend a lot of quality time with their family. Those small activities like preparing food, offerings and going to pagoda allow us to create lovely memories with our family. You might want to know: Affordable Phnom Penh Hotel With Reasonable Price!!

Not to mention the Angkor Sang Kran, it is a great festival that we can have and learn about the tradition of Cambodia at the same time. Also often, school break usually happens around this Cambodia Holiday. So it makes us able to enjoy the holiday and travel longer than the others.

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