Independence Day in Cambodia

Independence Day in Cambodia is celebrated annually on the 9th of November. As the name suggests, the holiday commemorates the anniversary of the country’s independence from France on this date in 1953.

As such, it is the national holiday of Cambodia, and people have the day off. It is also a day when government offices and schools close, as do many businesses. It is a day filled with festive events that include carnivals, parades, and fireworks.

Cambodia takes on a party atmosphere that involves citizens from all walks of life. There are both official and unofficial ceremonies that residents and tourists can participate in as well.

The History of Independence Day in Cambodia

Even though Cambodia was originally under the influence of the Khmers from the 8th to the 15th centuries, their influence waned, and the country came under the influence of both Spain and Portugal.

During the 19th century, Cambodia became a protectorate of France and remained so until WWII changed everything. The French installed Prince Sihanouk on the throne of Cambodia in 1941.

The war had a devastating effect on France, so Sihanouk declared independence from the country in March of 1945 with the help of the Japanese. When Japan was defeated after the war, France once again took possession of the country.

However, the citizens had other ideas in mind, and there was a renewed desire for independence. In 1953, France agreed with Cambodia that it should gain its independence, so on the 9th of November in 1953, Cambodia became an independent country.

Observing Independence Day in Cambodia

All across Cambodia, this holiday is observed with parties and fairs, concerts and carnivals, and of course, parades. There is street food as well, and people all across the country enjoy fine Cambodian foods such as Samlor Korkor, Bai Sach Chrouk, and Kha Sach Ko. At the end of the day’s festivities, there is also a fireworks display.

Where is it celebrated?
Cambodia (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 9 Saturday
Next year (2025)
November 9 Sunday
Last year (2023)
November 9 Thursday