Although 95 per cent of Cambodia population are Khmer, there are still 24 other ethnics which leads to variety of Cambodia’s events and festivals. One of the reasons which make Cambodia become a destination of tourists all over the world nowadays is original and impressive festivals and events. Indochina travel Cambodia
In one year, there are 5 major festivals held in Cambodia:
Khmer New Year festivals
This festival takes place during three days: 13th, 14th and 15th April annually. On these days, it is very animated in Cambodia. Every tourist areas, big cities and houses are brightly illuminated by lanterns.
On New Year’s Eve, Cambodian family members will release decorative multi-colored lanterns onto the lake to wish everyone fortune for the New Year. In Khmer New Year, Water festival in which people meet and splash everybody with water is the most expected one. This ceremony is celebrated as a wish for a lucky and merry year ahead.
Bom Chaul Chnam – Water festival celebrating a bumper rice harvest.
This is the biggest festival of Cambodians which is held from 13th to 15th April annually. People happily and enthusiastically splash water over others. This is an agricultural country’s default custom showing farmers’ belief in a rich harvest with highly productive plants. Everyone expects this religious ceremony to bring basins of water outside and spray water onto farming tools and pets.
The Royal Ploughing ceremony
The ceremony is solemnly celebrated at the beginning of planting season in May annually. Taking place at the park next to the Royal Palace, the Royal Ploughing Ceremony (or Bon Chroat Preah Nongkoal) plays an important role in Cambodian belief about their agriculture. Traditionally, the King Maek is the first person to plough the field while the Pheah Mehuo, the Queen, sows the seeds behind him. The royal servants drive royal oxen to different trays containing many kinds of food. The soothsayers will predict a series of events such as floods, epidemics and good harvests depend on what the oxen have eaten.
Bam Dak Ben and Pchonum Ben festivals.
Held on October 11th to 13th, this festival is in memory of the deceased. In these days, people come to the temple to worship and give thanks to the monks. During this time, monks take their public holidays of 15 days. They will not ask for alms but local people would bring food to them.
Bonn Prathen festival
Affected by Indian culture, the majority of Cambodian residents are Buddhists. Usually taking place in October and lasting almost the month, Bonn Prathen Festival is the major Buddhist festival of the year. Local people organize a big procession to the temple where the monks are waiting to change yellow costume. Ho Chi Minh city to Phnom Penh by boat
Taking part in these festivals could be a bundle of fun and a chance to learn Cambodian culture and religious. So when you are in Cambodia, remember to visit at least one of them. I’m sure that you will have great moments there. Wish you a safe and sound trip!