Angkor Thanksgiving begins

The festival includes nightly Yike and large-scale shadow puppetry performances, open to the public.

Chea Sokny

Chea Sokny

The Phnom Penh Post


Monks offers prayers at the Angkor Thanksgiving festival in front of Angkor Wat Temple on December 7. PHOTO: CAMBODIA CULTURE MINISTRY/THE PHNON PENH POST

December 8, 2023

PHNOM PENH – This year’s “Angkor Thanksgiving” festivities span 10 days, from December 7 to 16, featuring religious ceremonies, traditional performance art and enlightening exhibition booths.

The event’s inauguration on December 7 commenced with a prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat Temple, led by Pich Chanmony, spouse of Prime Minister Hun Manet, and Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona. Attendees included Siem Reap provincial leaders, APSARA National Authority (ANA) representatives, partners, government officials and national and international visitors.

Long Kosal, ANA’s deputy director general, outlined the ten-day schedule, showcasing religious programmes, displays of UNESCO World Heritage-listed arts and nightly performance art shows.

“In the coming days, expect numerous events, including significant religious programmes, exhibitions showcasing ANA’s achievements, and over 1,250 students marching under the banners ‘Thank you Angkor’ and ‘Thank you peace’,” Kosal said.

The festival includes nightly Yike and large-scale shadow puppetry performances, open to the public.

Historian Sambo Manara said that Cambodian ancestors from the ninth to thirteenth centuries embodied the spirit of Angkor, contributing to the nation’s development. The celebrations commemorate the Angkor spirit—a national ethos rooted in the ideas and values of that era.

“This event signifies our gratitude to ancestral leaders who built these temples. It aims to revive a national spirit, inspiring the new generation to uphold the vision of the Angkor spirit in our lives,” he said.

The festival imparts values, urging Cambodians to recall positive history—embracing culture, creativity, and achievements in art and architecture.

This year marks the third iteration of the event dedicated to honouring Angkor, commemorating the kings and ancestors linked to the temple complex, and contributing to the nation’s wellbeing and identity.

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