Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and the center of most of its activities including the festivals. The Pearl of Asia, as it was once called, is an agricultural-based city lies on the bank of the Mekong River from which Phnom Penh inspired its myths, old customs, and, surely, water supply. If you are eager to know more about the culture and traditions of such a city, try to visit them in a large festival such as the New Year.
Because Phnom Penh is an agricultural city, its celebrations of the New Year begin at the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the rainy season, which corresponds 13 to 15 April. The first day of their festivals marks the end of the old year and the beginning of a year full of prosperity and good luck for all the Cambodians.
The activities of the festival begins at the morning of the first day of the New Year when the Cambodians wash their faces and wear their new clothes and the young people pour the water on their elder relatives according to their traditions. Some Cambodians spend this day in their museums and others stay at their homes lighting candles and wishing for a peaceful year.
The restaurants of Phnom Penh offer special and traditional dishes such as the Kralan that is made of steamed rice, beans, coconut milk, and grated coconut. They love to eat the fresh fruits and food coming out from their lands and they prefer to offer some of their food to the monks throughout the three days of the festival. The hotels in Phnom Penh offer their best level of service during the New Year festivals for the tourists and local Cambodians. The Raffles Hotel Le Royal, for example, is one of the hotels that give the city a unique elegance from inside and outside.