The countries rich in cultural heritage but still distinct from each other, Vietnam and Cambodia are counted as golden places to visit on Earth. You are bound to see some stunning beauty of paddy fields, silhouetting stupas of Angkor Wat, the melody of birds all around and a wave of fresh air. We promise the scenic beauty will fade away all your fatigue during your Vietnam and Cambodia tours.
With people knowing very little about these countries, we do not expect you to know about the festivals celebrated here. So, this content paints a word picture of some local festivals celebrated in Vietnam and Cambodia, which will definitely add a layer of excitement in your trip plans. And if you are planning to visit the countries anytime this year, read this article and make the trip an unforgettable one along with celebrating the festivals.
Festivals of Cambodia:
Khmer New Year:
The yearly cultural event of Cambodians lasts for three days and falls around the 13th or 14th day of April every year. The festival is scheduled following the ancestor calendar and holds the most significance to the locals.
The festival is also well known as Bon Chol Chham Thmei and is a sign of the end of the harvest season for the farmers. Most of the Cambodians during this festival, plan to visit their ancestral roots in the countryside. And you can expect Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to be transformed into empty towns.
Out of the three days, the first day is for cleaning and decorating the homes with fresh fruit on a table which is believed to welcome new spirits into the house. In the next two days, they share gifts and apologize to elders for any sins committed.
Bon Om Touk: The Water festival:
This is a carnival period across the main centers, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and tourists can also join in this celebration. The festival falls on the start of the fishing season, which is November and lasts for three consecutive days.
People from across the country come to celebrate the Water Festival which is a mark of rainy season end and also is a mark of respect for the Naval forces who fought to secure Cambodia back in the 12th century of Angkor period. Furthermore, you will see the change in the direction of the Tonle Sap river flow. You can see the city covered in different colors, fireworks, and people all around. Cambodians organize a boat race or rather boat parade and add an exciting flavor to the festival.
Royal Plowing Festival Or Preah Reach Pithi Bonn Chrot Preah Neang Kol
A country known for the paddy fields, this unique festival of Cambodians marks the beginning of the rice harvesting season. It is the time when the farming preparations begin, and the farmers sow the seeds the next season.
The Khmer King, of the Cambodian Royal Family, initiates the festival by tilling the plot with the help of oxen. The festival falls around the end of May but the period may vary. Once the plot is plowed, the oxen are set free towards barrels full of rice, sesame, corn, soybeans, grass, water and wine. Depending on which barrel they choose, the harvest type is decided. Grass signifies an increase in disease, water suggests widespread floods, wine is unluckiest referring to war or conflicts in the country. This festival should definitely be not missed during your Cambodia tour package.
Festivals of Vietnam:
Hoi An Lantern Festival:
This is that time of the year when Hoi’s old town looks magical with cozy cafes, silk craft sales, bright and colorful houses, and restaurants all around. The full moon adds to the scintillating beauty of the place. The lights are switched off, traffic closed and the town is covered with candles and silk lanterns sparkling like stars.
The festival is celebrated every month on the full moon day by offering fruits and flowers at the family altars. Locals burn incense stick and fake money for bringing in good luck and prosperity. You can also head towards the Hoi An’s pagodas where you will see monks performing candle-lit ceremonies.
Tet Nguyen Dan:
The word Tet Nguyen Dan means “Feast of the First Morning Of the first day.” The day is celebrated as the Vietnamese New year according to the Lunar Calendar. It usually falls in January or February to thank God for the Spring arrivals and also to offer respect to the ancestors.
The locals prepare special food, celebrate it traditionally, and visit each other. Usually, it lasts for three days, but it is extended for a week. The festival is also familiar as the Spring Festival and the three days are divided as given below. Tet Nien( a day before the New year eve), Giao Thao(the New Year eve) and Tan Nien(New Year’s Day).
The festival is a noisy affair as you will see people crowding the streets, firecrackers, drums, bells, gongs and more. People participating in the carnival often wear masks on their faces and perform on the traditional Lion Dancing, and others.
This festival is celebrated every two years at the UNESCO-listed Hue city during April to June. The celebration is a grand one accompanied by a grand opening with music ceremony, live performances, international artists, and a wide array of games, events, etc. Festival continues for a week followed by a boat race alongside drumming performances, and art exhibitions.
One of the days is celebrated as Kite Day when locals parade with kites and the city is made live with traditional food stalls, live music and dancing all around.
Visiting these countries during the festivals is the pinnacle time for enjoyment. For an avid food lover, festivals offer a plethora of delicious food dishes. The beauty is mind-boggling, and the locals are welcoming, what more do you need for a peaceful Cambodia Package? We hope you have a fantastic trip to these jewel-like places on Earth.