Borey Williams


Public Holidays in Cambodia 2023

Public Holidays Cambodia 2023

First time visitors to the country might be surprised quite how many Cambodian public holidays there are. At certain times in the year particularly in May and October, it seems as if every other day is a public holiday in Cambodia. This can be great if you are a salaried staff but frustrating if you run your own company. Here is our guide to public holidays in Cambodia.

Major Public Holidays in Cambodia

Most Cambodian public holidays mark a particular day and only last one day. However, there are three major Cambodian festivals which buck this trend.

Khmer New Year takes place over three days in the middle of April. In 2023, this is celebrated on 14 to 16 April. Expect local Khmers to leave major cities to join their families in celebrations.

Pchum Ben 2023 is held between 13 and 15 October. This is the day that Cambodians pay their respects to their dead ancestors.

The third major celebration is the Water Festival from 26 to 28 November. Traditionally this marks the start of the dry season when the Tonle Sap reverses its flow, and people take part in boat races. The capital Phnom Penh gets very crowded during this festival. In the last few years the boat races have not been held, although it is likely they might take place in 2023.

Individual Public Holidays in Cambodia

There are a series of individual public holidays in Cambodia marking a specific day or event. Sometimes when these occur together straddling a weekend, the intervening days are also taken off as holidays.

In 2023, these public holidays are: 1 January: International New Year Day; 7 January: Victory Day over Genocide; 8 March: International Women’s Day; 1 May: International Labor Day; 4 May: Visak Bochea Day; 8 May: Royal Plowing Ceremony; 14 May: King Norodom Sihamoni’s Birthday; 18 June: Queen Monineath’s Birthday; 24 September: Constitutional Day; 15 October: Respect the Spirit of the Late King Father; 29 October: Coronation Day of King Sihamoni; and 9 November: National Independence Day.

Non-Public Holidays in Cambodia

Although technically not a public holiday, Chinese New Year, or Tet in Vietnamese, is celebrated by many people in Cambodian with Chinese or Vietnamese heritage. Expect plenty of celebrations and gift sharing. Also, although Christmas is not a public holiday, do not expect too many westerners turning up for work on this day. They are much more likely to be found at some five-star hotel having Christmas dinner, or relaxing by a pool.

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