Cambodia has a lot of traditional and international festivals. At those times of celebration the nation share common understanding of values and traditions; even in the times of hardship people try harder to make these times special. All the traditional festivals are influenced by the concepts of religions and royal cultures. Among those plenty of holidays I will choose only the three most important celebrations to describe. Firstly, Water festival takes place in October or the beginning of November.
Up to a million people from all over the country gather at the banks of Tunle Sap and Mekong rivers in Phnom Penh to watch hundreds of colorful racing boats. The boat racing represents the strengths of the powerful khmer marine forces during the Khmer empire. Moreover I think the festival marks the changing of the flow of the Tonle Sap and is seen as thanksgiving to the Mekong River for providing the country with fertile land and abundant fish.
Secondly, Pchum Ben is a kind of festival that focuses on blessing the souls of ancestors, relatives, and friends who have passed away. There are 15 days of this festival, but the public holidays drop on the last day. From the Ben one to Ben fourteen, most of villagers I know take turn to visit Buddhist temples in order to make traditional offerings and pray, and on the last day each temple is full of people to do the last offering and pray. Thirdly, Khmer New Year’s Day is the happiest ceremony.
It takes place at the same time in mid April of each year, which is the time that Cambodians have done all the harvest. People decorate their homes to please the New Year’s god. In the countryside, it is common that there are some groups of people stand on the sidewalk and aim small bags to the passengers passing by as the way of blessing. In conclusion, The Cambodian festivals turn up every year and bring Cambodian people a lot of joys. I think Cambodian keep celebrating these is not only the cause of amusing but also the way of Khmer culture preservation.