Amazing Cultural Festivals in Cambodia – Immerse Yourself in Colourful Traditions

Cambodia’s vibrant culture comes alive throughout the year with a dazzling array of festivals. From joyous celebrations to solemn observances, each event offers a unique window into the heart and soul of this captivating country.

Choul Chnam Thmey

Welcome the traditional Cambodian New Year, Choul Chnam Thmey, and experience a joyful nationwide celebration. This three-day extravaganza in mid-April coincides with the Angkor Sankranta Festival in Siem Reap, making it the perfect time to visit Angkor Wat within easy reach of properties like Anantara Angkor Resort. Experience the local New Year and witness traditional ceremonies, water blessings, and colourful parades bursting with colour and music.

Bon Om Touk

Experience the dynamic energy of the Cambodian Water Festival or Bon Om Touk in October or early November. This annual event, mainly held in Phnom Penh marks the end of the rainy season and is known for its heart-pounding Pirogue longboat races on the Tonle Sap River. The festival comes alive with vibrant music, captivating dance performances, and delectable local cuisine – a feast for all senses! Meanwhile, those staying at a luxury hotel in Siem Reap can also enjoy this festival in Angkor with more festivities in store.

Vesak Bochea

Vesak Bochea, or Visak Bochea, honours the life of Lord Buddha. Devout Buddhists gather at temples nationwide on the full moon of the sixth lunar month, usually in April or May. This solemn occasion celebrates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing into Nirvana. Participate in temple ceremonies, observe candlelit processions, and join in helping the less fortunate. Be prepared to also experience the profound sense of peace that permeates the air.

Pchum Ben 

Pchum Ben, also known as Ancestors’ Day, is a poignant 15-day festival observed throughout Cambodia, usually in September or October. The locals believe the spirits of their ancestors descend upon Earth during this time. Families gather to offer food and prayers at temples, seeking merit for their loved ones in the afterlife. Witness the preparation of elaborate meals and see the reverence with which Cambodians honour their ancestors and elders.

Corporate Events & Meeting Facilities in Siem Reap – Gateway to the temples of Angkor.

siem reap meeting venues

Reception of Anantara Angkor Resort

Siem Reap is a major tourist hub located in northwest Cambodia. Its claim to fame is that it is the closest city to the world famous temples of Angkor. The city of Siem Reap shares its name with province to which it belongs. The name translates to ‘Siamese defeated’ a reference to the defeat of the army of the Thai kingdom at the hands of the Khmer Empire, in the 17th century.

The past fifteen years have turned the city into one that is bustling with tourist activity. Earlier, it was an isolated location that catered to the few hardy backpackers with only the odd budget hotel, today it is home to the Anantara Angkor Resort.

Culture junkies and history buffs descend on Siem Reap on their way to ruins of Angkor Wat. The temples along with the 12th century Angkor Thom Royal City have been accepted as the main reason tourists visit the once quiet Cambodian town but of late a good many corporates around the world also seek out meeting venues in Siem Reap.

Lonely Planet calls Siem Reap Cambodia’s epicentre of chic. Property values have risen steeply and tourism, both business and leisure, has become a widely profitable industry. Business travellers now have all the modern conveniences laid on along with a host of meeting and conference facilities, restaurants and spas.

The Siem Reap International Airport sees more traffic than any other airport in the country. The increasing volume of business travellers has created a demand for higher quality airport features; upgrades to airport lounges and other facilities are being implemented as a result. Siem Reap is enjoying the monumental shift in its economic fortunes but it has retained the pleasant air of a charming small town.

Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Celebrate Ancestor’s Day in Cambodia’s Sacred Pchum Ben Festival

Travellers in search of five-star Siem Reap accommodation will be more than pleased with the Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa. Providing guests with a central location this idyllic rest offers modern amenities to suit business travellers as well as holidaymakers.

Renowned as one of Cambodia’s most sacred religious festivals the marking of Pchum Ben or Ancestor’s Day holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Khmer residents the world over. This annual religious ceremony in Cambodia falls on the 15th day of the 10th month in the Khmer calendar with dates in the Georgian calendar alternating between the months of September and October. The 2013 Pchum Ben festival for example was marked from the 3rd to the 5th of October while the dates of this year’s festival falls between 21st and 23rd September.

The national holiday which pays tribute to one’s ancestors also denoted the end of the Buddhist lent period known as Vassa. As an ancient festival that is deeply rooted in Cambodian culture Ancestor’s Day is a day set aside to pays homage to deceased loved ones going back nearly seven generations. Tributes are made in the form of religious sutra chants by Buddhist monks that take place over night. Cambodians believe that it is during this sacred day when the gates of the underworld or hell are opened and is linked with the world of the living. As a belief that is deeply rooted in the cosmic power of King Yama or the monarch of hell the sprits and ghosts of deceased relatives are said to be especially active during this hallowed day when blessing are bestowed upon them in the form of offering food to Buddhist monks and Pail sutra chanting ceremonies conducted at temples. Believed to aid them ascend their temporary abode in hell or alleviate their suffering in some measure the merits committed by living relatives are said to benefit the welfare of relatives in both heaven and hell during Pchum Ben
Visiting the temple with food offerings is a traditional practice and custom of Pchum Ben which literally translates to “meeting and collecting”. The deceased ancestors are believed to bless the living relatives with happiness and good fortune after receiving merit due to the pious activities carried out by their loved ones on this day.


Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.