Victory Over Genocide Day

Observed each year in Cambodia on January 7th, Victory Over Genocide Day is a holiday that commemorates the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979. This organization implemented radical communist policies, such as taking children from their parents and forcibly enforcing self-sufficiency, in an attempt to return the country of Cambodia to a rural, agricultural culture.

In the four years of their regime, it is estimated that about 25% of the entire population of Cambodia were killed by overwork, starvation, illness, or execution. That makes the Khmer Rouge campaign one of the most lethal genocide campaigns in Cambodian history.

The History of Victory Over Genocide Day

Cambodia was a base of operations for communist forces during the Vietnam War, and after the war, an offshoot of the Vietnam People’s Army called the Red Khmer, or Khmer Rouge as it is most popularly known, came into power in 1975.

They continued their campaign of genocide for four long years before Vietnamese troops entered Cambodia and began their assault on the Red Khmer on January 7, 1979. On April 17, 1979, the Red Khmer officially surrendered.

Facts About Cambodia

Let’s enjoy some quick facts about Cambodia before moving on with this holiday article. Ready? Okay, let’s get started then.

  • Cambodia is one of the few countries in the world without a McDonald’s.
  • Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world.
  • The official language of Cambodia is Khmer.
  • Approximately 95% of all Cambodians are Buddhists.
  • Cambodia has one of the youngest populations in Southeast Asia.
  • The Cambodian flag is the only national flag with a building on it in the world.

Observing Victory Over Genocide Day

On this day, people all over the country hold candlelit vigils and memorial services for the victims of the Khmer Rouge. There are also political speeches, rallies, and other events held on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Cambodia (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 7 Sunday
Next year (2025)
January 7 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
January 7 Saturday