When is Cambodian Independence Day?
This national holiday is celebrated on 9 November each year.
If 9 November falls on a weekday, the following working day will be a holiday.
The holiday was established to celebrate the anniversary of Cambodia's independence from France on 9 November 1953 and is Cambodia's national holiday.
The region of Cambodia became an area of influence under the rule of the Angkorian era from the 8th century. By the 15 century, the influence of the Khmers waned and the kingdom was subject to control by the Spanish and Portuguese.
With the arrival of the French in 1863, Cambodia became a protectorate of France and a virtual colony by the twentieth century. In 1941, the French installed Prince Sihanouk on the Cambodian throne. Having sensed that the French influence was affected by World War II, with the support of the Japanese, Sihanouk declared independence from France in March 1945.
Following the defeat of Japan, France regained control of the region, but the move had sparked a desire for independence. By July 1953, France had stated that it was ready to grant full independence to Cambodia and on 9 November 1953, full independence was achieved.
King Norodom Sihanouk went on to rule Cambodia for the next 15 years before he was overthrown by a military coup.
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.
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.