When you book your stay in Cambodia, don't forget that the local calendar is full of holidays quite different from those in the West.
Cambodians enjoy three New Years - the main one being Khmer New Year in mid April. This is one of the two biggest events on the calendar. Khmer New Year involves holidays that last over a week - usually two weeks for schools) and Pchum Ben which also has holidays that last over a week. On both occasions it is common for families to travel long distances to their homelands.
If you are volunteering teaching in Cambodia, then School will definitely be 'out' during these periods.
- International New Year’s Day 2013, January 1st This holiday is for the first day of the new calendar year and is celebrated just as in most parts of the world.
- Victory Day over Genocide 2013, January 7th This holiday was established to commemorate the end of the Khymer Rouge regime in 1979.
- Meak Bochea Day 2013, February 25th This is a holiday that was established to commemorate the gathering of Buddhist monks to listen to the Buddha’s teachings.
- International Women’s Day 2013, March 8th This holiday was established to honour the brave women of the world.
- Khmer New Year 2013, April 08 - 24th ( Holidays 15 ) This is a holiday that celebrates the Cambodian New Year and is usually celebrated for fifty days and it is considered to be the most important festival in Cambodia.
- International Labor Day 2013, May 1st This holiday was established to celebrate the economic and social achievements of the workers.
- King Sihamoni’s Birthday 2013, May 13-14-15th This holiday celebrates the birthday of his Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni.
- Visaka Bochea Day 2013, May 24th This holiday commemorates the signing of the Cambodian Buddhism.
- Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day 2013, May 28th This holiday commemorates the start of the planting season.
- Queen Mother’s Birthday 2013, June 18th This holiday celebrates the birthday of Queen Mother Norodom Monineath on June 18th 1936.
- Pchum Ben Festival 2013, October 1-2-3-4-7-8-9 (Seven days) This holiday is also known as Ancestors Day. On this day people pay respects to deceased relatives by making offerings to them and cooking food for the monks.
- Mourning Ceremony of King Father’s Norodom Sihanouk 2013, October 15th This holiday celebrates the birthday of King Father Norodom Sihanouk on October 31st, 1922.
- Coronation Day of his Majesty king Norodom Sihamoni 2013, October 29th This holiday celebrates the Coronation King Norodom Sihamoni on October 31st, 2009.
- Independence Day 2013, November 11th This holiday celebrates the independence of Cambodia from France in 1953.
- Water Festival or The Boat Racing Festival 2013, November 18-19-20-21-22th (Five days) This is a holiday to mark the change of course of the water of the Mekong river and the Tonle Sap river.
- International Human Rights Day 2013, December 10th This holiday commemorates the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Happy Cambodia Holidays 2013!