Cambodia was under French colonial for almost a century, and after all, we gained and declared our official independence on November 9th, 1953 under the royal struggling of King Norodom Sihanouk, the Father of Independence of Cambodia. This year, 2019, is the 66th anniversary of Cambodia being a free and independent country after being colonized for a 90-year period, 1863-1953, by the Western colonizer.
How is Cambodian Independence Day Celebrated?
Cambodian Independence Day is celebrated with festivals, parades, and firework displays across Cambodia. The main celebrations are held in Phnom Penh beginning with a formal ceremony at the Independence Monument, which is situated at the junction of the Preah Norodom and Preah Sihanouk Boulevards. Also, there are given bunches of flower at the King Norodom Sihanouk Memorial, which is along the way with the Independent Monument as well, in order to remind and remember him as a Father of Independence in Cambodian minds and heart. This is followed by a gala parade featuring colorful floats and marching bands in front of the Royal Palace. In the evening, the Royal Palace and other buildings are illuminated and a huge fireworks display takes place near the riverbanks of the Royal Palace.
What Should We Do to Celebrate This Holiday Worthy?
Following by The Public Holidays of Asia, who writes and suggests to us how to celebrate our holidays, we should take parts in some of the main activities below:
- Be sure to be in Phnom Penh for the celebrations. First, you may wish to visit Independence Monument for the ceremony that begins the celebration. Soon, a parade with floats and marching bands sets off from the Royal Palace, passing by streets full of watching spectators and flying Cambodian flags. In the evening, many buildings, including the Royal Palace and various monuments, are lit up, while fireworks explode in the sky over the Mekong River.
- Tour the Cambodian Cultural Village, Siem Reap, to learn about Cambodian culture and history. You will find 11 distinct villages, which represent various ethnic groups of Cambodia. There are wooden houses, stone carvings, examples of local customs, traditional songs and dances, folk games, elephant shows, circuses, wedding ceremonies, acrobatic acts, and even peacock dances. Finally, the on-site was museum gives you a ‘wax figure tour’ of much of Cambodia’s long history.
- Visit the Royal Palace, where kings of Cambodia have resided since the 1860s. It sits at the confluence of two rivers in the capital city of Phnom Penh and is a stunning example of Khmer architecture with a few French influences. Be sure to see the Silver Pagoda, the Throne Hall, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the surrounding defensive wall.
In short, the holiday is what we enjoy the most, but knowing about its meaning and celebrating it worthy is much more enjoyable.
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