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November 9 – Cambodia Independence Day

Every 9th of November, Cambodia celebrates its Independence Day. The national holiday commemorates its independence from France in 1953. If the day is on a Sunday, the next day is considered a holiday.    

In 1863, the French arrived in Cambodia and declared the country under its control and protection. In the 20th century, the country became its colony with Prince Sihanouk as its head. During World War II, Sihanouk proclaimed the country as an independent Kingdom, supported by the Japanese forces that occupied the country during the time. However, the country was only granted self-rule and not complete independence. In 1953, Sihanouk finally persuaded the French government to give the country full independence.  

The Cambodians celebrate the holiday with parades, festivals, and fireworks. The main ceremonies happen at Phnom Penh, the country’s capital, with ceremonial flame lighting, floats, and marching bands by the Royal Palace.  

Fun facts about Cambodia:

  • Angkor Wat in northern Cambodia is the largest religious building in the world.  
  • Cambodians celebrate their New Year or Choul Chnam Thmey every April, which signifies the harvest season’s end.  
  • The Cambodian flag is unique, being the only one with a building on it.  


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