Festivals in Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • New Year’s Day

    • 1 Jan 2014

    Although 1 January still plays second fiddle to the Buddhist New Year, the number of foreign visitors to Siem Reap means it has increased in popularity. There are always plenty of good bars to visit to ring in the New Year the night beforehand.

  • Chinese New Year

    • 31 Jan 2014–3 Feb 2014

    Siem Reap like Phnom Penh has a fairly sizeable Chinese population, meaning this event is followed with some enthusiasm. Expect to see lots of Chinese characters around the city on red posters and abundant traditional Chinese hanging lanterns.

  • Meak Bochea Day

    • 28 Feb 2014

    This is a fairly low-key Buddhist festival that falls on the full moon day in the month, usually at the end of February. The temples on this day will be busy with sermons among the many gathered monks in their orange robes.

  • Chaul Chnam

    • 15 Apr 2014

    The Buddhist New Year, this holiday spanning three days is the most significant in the Khmer calendar and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. The date changes according to the Buddhist lunar calendar but it always falls sometime in the middle of April and is marked by the throwing of water, music, processions and partying.

  • Silk Festival

    • 15 Apr 2014

    Usually held in the Buddhist New Year, this festival transforms the Royal Independence Gardens into an expanse of colourful silks produced within the vicinity of Siem Reap.

  • Spirit Festival

    • 30 Sep 2014

    Coming at the end of September, P’chum Ben as it is known in Khmer, makes for a good excuse to head down to Tonlé Sap lake where locals make offerings to lost loved ones and friends at the water’s edge. It’s a solemn but fascinating event.

  • Water festival

    • 25 Nov 2014

    Although bigger in the capital, the Water Festival is still major news in Siem Reap as it lies close to the source of the Tonlé Sap river – the lake of the same name. The event marks when the river reverses its flow back to the sea and is marked with fireworks.

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