Vesākha is an annual holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists in Cambodia. Sometimes informally called "Buddha's Birthday", it actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment (nirvāṇa), and passing away (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha.

October 11–15. Pchum Ben is a very important aspect of Cambodian culture. It may be translated as "gathering together" to make offerings and is a time of reunion, commemoration, express love and appreciation for one's ancestors. By offering food and good karma to those possibly trapped in the spirit world, living relatives help assuage their misery and guide them back into the cycle of reincarnation.

Water Festival. The largest annual festival in Phnom Penh, this lively gathering celebrates the reversing of the flow of the Tonlé Sap river. The holiday lasts three days as people flood into the city to enjoy the fireworks, colourful boat races, live concerts, eating and partying. The boat racing dates back to ancient times marking the strengths of the Khmer marine forces during the Khmer Empire.

On November 22, 2010 at least 348 people were crushed to death in a bridge stampede at the festival.

At this time Phnom Penh celebrates Cambodian New Year, an occasion increasingly popular with tourists. During this typically hottest part of the year, water gets thrown around adding to the party atmosphere along with dancing and music. The precise date changes year-by-year but this holiday lasts at least three days. This festival marks the turn of the year based on the ancient Khmer calendar and also marks the end of the prior year harvest.

April 13 - 15


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