Throughout the year Siem Reap and Cambodia hosts a variety of festivals and events steeped in culture and religious history - often combined with local public holidays where the whole town can relax and enjoy themselves. The most notable are probably Khmer New Year celebrated in mid-April, Bonn Om Touk (the Cambodian Water Festival marking the reverse flow of the Tonle Sap River in October / November) and the Pchum Ben festival where people pay respect to their ancestors, visit the temples and spend time with their families.
Shadow Puppetry is a traditional art form performed in Siem Reap throughout the year and especially during Khmer New Year
You will also find that Siem Reap is host to various culture and photo exhibitions, and the annual Angkor Wat Bike Race and Rally and Angkor International Half Marathon attracts an increasing number of visitors who not only want to participate in some spectacular events, but also support some good causes... So, watch this space for local Siem Reap events and activities.
Lasting three full days in mid-April, Khmer New Year is, arguably, the most popular festival and national holiday in Cambodia with families getting together and enjoying celebrations and relaxation.
The ancient cultural Traditional Khmer dancing and Apsara dance performances are performed on a regular basis in various locations in Siem Reap and Cambodia.
15 October is a national holiday to commemorate the memory of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk - also known as 'The King-Father of Cambodia'.
Cambodia's Independence Day is on 9 November and this national holiday was established to celebrate Cambodia's independence from France in 1953.
Even though Christmas is not widely celebrated in the Cambodian countryside, there is a range of special events and gala dinners for Christmas and New Year's Eve in various Siem Reap hotels and restaurants during the holiday season.
Victory Day in Cambodia is observed on 7 January and this national holiday was established to commemorate the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.