This five-day festival is held at the Jambay Lhakhang monastery in Bumthang, an ancient temple deemed particularly sacred by Guru Rimpoche. Traditional dance performances common to most Tsechus take place but most popular is a remarkable sacred ritual held at midnight when monks take part in naked fire dancing.
The Water Festival marks the reversal of the Tonle Sap River’s tide, and the end of rainy season. The celebrations last for three days and nights throughout the country but are particularly vibrant in Phnom Penh where there are boat races on the river. There are concerts and performances, and traditional food is cooked and enjoyed.
Independence Day commemorates the day Cambodia became independent from French rule in 1953. The celebrations are centered on Phnom Penh, where a ceremony takes place at Independence Monument, presided over by the King. There is a parade with floats and music in front of the Royal Palace and the people wave flags in the street.
This is a popular four-day festival celebrated by the Miao ethnic minority of Guizhou. The Lusheng reed pipe dates back to the Tang dynasty and, as a symbol of Miao history, is played throughout the festival at ceremonies and performances of traditional dances. There are horse races on the third day and bullfighting on the fourth.
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Known as the Gustor ritual, this annual three-day festival features sacred dances, a trade fair and prayers. The festivities take place at the Tibetan-Buddhist Thiksey Monastery, perched on the top of a hill in Ladakh, India. Chams - masked dances - are performed by monks, and a sacrificial cake is cut up and dispersed.