Phnom Penh: Festivals


Greetings Festive Friends! Phnom Penh, Cambodia, knows how to throw a party, and you’re invited! Here’s a mini guide to some awesome festivals that will add a splash of color to your visit.

  • Khmer New Year – A Splash of Joy!
  • When it happens: April 13th to 16th.
  • Why it’s awesome: Water fights galore! Everyone hits the streets with water guns for a massive water festival. Be ready to get wet and have a blast!
  • Pchum Ben – Ancestral Remembering!
  • When it happens: Usually in September or October.
  • Why it’s special: A time to honor ancestors. People visit pagodas, offer food to monks, and remember their loved ones. A peaceful and reflective time.
  • Water Festival (Bon Om Touk) – Boat Bonanza!
  • When it happens: Usually in November.
  • Why it’s a must-see: Boat races on the river, illuminated floats, and a vibrant atmosphere. Join the crowds by the Tonle Sap River for a spectacle!
  • Royal Ploughing Ceremony – Blessings for Harvest!
  • When it happens: Typically in May.
  • Why it’s unique: A royal ox plows the fields, symbolizing the start of the planting season. Traditional ceremonies bless the harvest.
  • Sea Festival – Coastal Celebrations!
  • When it happens: Every two years, usually in December.
  • Why it’s cool: If you love the sea, this one’s for you. Music, dance, and sea-related activities make for a lively celebration.
  • Water Lantern Festival – Glowing Serenity!
  • When it happens: Varies but often during major festivals.
  • Why it’s magical: Release lanterns into the water, make a wish, and watch the river sparkle. A serene and beautiful moment.
  • Cambodian New Year (Chol Chnam Thmey) – Time to Rejoice!
  • When it happens: Mid-April.
  • Why it’s a blast: Three days of celebration with family and friends. Traditional dances, games, and loads of delicious food.
  • Chinese New Year – Dragon Dazzle!
  • When it happens: Based on the lunar calendar, usually in January or February.
  • Why it’s vibrant: Dragon dances, red lanterns, and a festive atmosphere. Join the locals in celebrating the Chinese New Year.

Remember, festivals are all about joy and connection. So, join in the fun, make new friends, and soak in the festive spirit of Phnom Penh!

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