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Public holidays

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Dates for Buddhist religious holidays are variable, changing each year with the lunar calendar.

January 1 International New Year’s Day

January 7 Victory Day over the Genocide Regime. Celebrates the liberation of Phnom Penh from the Khmer Rouge in 1979

Late January/February (variable) Meak Bochea Day. Buddhist festival commemorating and worshipping the Dhamma

March 8 International Women’s Day

April 13–15 Bonn Chaul Chhnam – Khmer New Year

Late April/May (variable) Visak Bochea Day. Buddhist festival celebrating the birth, enlightenment and passing to Nirvana of the Buddha

May 1 International Labour Day

May 13–15 Birthday of King Norodom Sihamoni

May (variable) Visakha Bochea. Commemorates the birth of Buddha

May (variable) Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal, the Royal Ploughing Ceremony. Celebrated just before the rains begin, this marks the start of the rice-planting season, and a ceremonial furrow is ploughed on the grounds in front of the National Museum in Phnom Penh

June 18 Birthday of King-Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk

September 24 Constitution Day

September/October (2–3 days, variable) Bonn Pchum Ben, the Feast of the Ancestors. Celebrated on the day of the new moon, when families head out to the pagoda to make offerings to the dead

October 29 Coronation Day of King Norodom Sihamoni

October 31 Birthday of King-Father Norodom Sihanouk

October/November (variable) Bonn Om Tuk, the Water Festival. Held at a variable time from late October to mid-November, it marks the end of the rains and the time when the water again starts to flow out of the Tonle Sap. A busy and colourful three-day event ensues, with boat races on the river near the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and on the moat around Angkor Wat

November 9 Independence Day. Marks independence from the French in 1953

December 10 International Human Rights Day

Any public holidays that fall on a Saturday or Sunday are taken the following Monday.

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