Suppose you’re going to have one of the Cambodia Vacation packages. In that case, you may wonder what Cambodian celebrations for tourists are the most exciting and worth trying to make your traveling experience unforgettable. Cambodia is an ideal destination for those who love national cultural identity because this country has many public and famous traditional celebrations and holidays, which play a key role in its culture and local people’s lives. So, let’s read the following guideline to discover Cambodia’s top 5 most wonderful tourist attractions!
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Interesting Celebrations in Cambodia You Should Experience
King Norodom Sihamoni’s Birthday
The current King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia was born on May 14, 1953. In a nation under a constitutional monarchy, the King’s position is also the representative of the Cambodian people, which is distinctive and replaceable.
Norodom Sihamoni is frequently recognized as a tenacious supporter of human rights since he has been involved in many cultural protection initiatives and contributions to the Arts.
All Cambodians respect Sihamoni’s dedication and effort to defend the arts, culture, and the rights of local citizens under Pol Pot’s leadership and its viciousness to people’s lives. Therefore, King Norodom Sihamoni’s Birthday is significant to all Cambodian people because it reminds them of what happened under the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot regimes when there was no effective administration. It also commemorates King Norodom Sihamoni’s birth and coronation, the reigning King of Cambodia. This ceremony takes place for three days annually. The King’s birthday is an important celebration for the Khmer people to give a grateful attitude to the new liberal administration and show their patriotism.
Cambodian Independence Day
Another popular celebration that is often covered in the Cambodia vacation packages is Cambodian Independence Day. This special day has a notable history. King Sihanouk traveled to France in March 1953 to convince the French to approve full independence for his country Cambodia.
Under the domination of the French colonial empire, the Cambodian military and police entirely lost their power. The King’s effort was successful because, on July 3, 1953, the French government declared that it was preparing to give Cambodia complete independence. Consequently, all Cambodian people regard King Sihanouk as their national hero as he brought complete independence to the country. Every year on Independence Day, his effort and struggle for liberty are celebrated in all Cambodian regions. He is well-known for “The Father of Independence”.
On November 9, Cambodian Independence Day is held annually to commemorate Cambodia’s liberation from over 90 years of French domination. The Independence Monument, located in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, is the official location for the ceremony.
When you visit Cambodia, you should not miss “Pchum Ben”, one of the most important celebrations. Cambodians always express their highest gratitude and regard for their parents, grandparents, and ancestors. Pchum Ben is explained as “to gather together” and “ball of food” and is held annually in September. Pchum Ben takes place in 15 days to honor the ancestors of Cambodian people going back up to seven generations. So, these days are among the most significant national holidays in Cambodia. Dak Ben refers to the first 14 days of the Pchum Ben ceremony.
During Dak Ben, local people near pagodas alternately prepare meals for the monks. Also, people prepare meals for dead family members as they believe their ancestors will wait at the pagoda for the meals. The final day of Pchum Ben is the most remarkable. In October, Cambodians enjoy three days off work to spend time with their families and return to their hometowns. Along with visiting pagodas, they frequently take family members for a small trip and share meals.
Meak Bochea Day is a significant religious ceremony in Cambodia. Meak Bochea Day is celebrated on full moon day (in January or February), considered the best time to atone for misdeeds and create merits. This day honors the last Buddha’s speech, in which he interpreted the three precepts that comprise the core of Buddhism, including abstaining from evils, engaging solely in virtue, and purifying the mind. Two thousand five hundred years ago, 1,250 listeners listened to the speech, and Buddha appointed them.
Additionally, on this holy day, Buddha could foresee his death, which would occur three months later. His birth and the day of his enlightenment experience happen the same day as his passing. It is also called Visak Bochea Day in Cambodia. At Buddhist temples, people and tourists use candles to honor Buddha, incense to respect Dharma, and flowers to acknowledge Sangha. Sometimes, you can observe the rituals and the temple’s interior architecture.
Choul Chnam Thmey
Many Cambodian celebrations are interesting, but we’re sure that Choul Chnam Thmey will bring you a fascinating experience when joining this event. This celebration is also known as the Khmer New Year. Khmer people often celebrate this big holiday for three days, starting from April 13 or 14, which is the first new moon of the month. The first day is “Maha Sangkran”, which celebrates the sun entering a new Zodiac and the transformation of spirits. Cambodians visit pagodas and temples in the morning to give the monks food and seek blessings.
On the second day, “Wanabot”, younger family members give presents to their elders, parents, and grandparents. The third day is known as “Leung Sakk, the first day of the next year. The last ritual, “Pithi Srang Preah,” is typically more spiritual and emphasizes purification.
Celebrations in Cambodia are an interesting experience you should attend when traveling to Cambodia. You will have a chance to discover impressive Cambodian festivals and traditional ceremonies and culture here. In our article, we list the top 5 well-known and cherished celebrations by tourists and local people. After joining, you’ll learn a lot of valuable knowledge about this beautiful country and its history.
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