Sunrise watching at Angkor Wat temple is one of the most taken activities in Siem Reap. Incredibly, when it comes to March and September, Angkor temple visitors have an amazing natural incentive which is Angkor Equinox Events. This is the special Angkor sunrise rising just over the summit of central Angkor Wat tower.
As you may notice when it comes to March, it is time for the people living in Northern Hemisphere to Congratulate or to Complaint about the weather changed. But people are pleased to welcome a special natural phenomenon called Equinox. Since this equinox event is happening in March, the beginning of the Western Spring season, it is called March Equinox or Spring Equinox and another unmatched Vernal Equinox. Whereas for the later event happens in September, it is called Autumn Equinox.
Specifically and super special to Cambodia, twice a year in March and September, the Angkor visitors welcome special Sunrises rising over the central tower of Angkor Wat temple in this Vernal Equinox in March and September in the 20s of each months. With this special natural phenomenon along with the smart and well thought astronomical architecture of Angkor Wat temple, these special days were named the Angkor Equinox (សមរាត្រីនៅប្រាសាទអង្គរវត្ត).
Why Equinox Specially Means to Cambodia?
The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night). On the equinox event, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world.
The question of what Equinox in Khmer language is. Sam Inspire would like to bring you back the events “Angkor Equinox Selfie Contest” organized by the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia. This Angkor Equinox event is celebrated two times a year in Siem Reap, Angkor, Cambodia, 1)- in March and 2)- in September each year from 2016.
From the event campaign name, a Khmer version was written as “ព្រឹត្តិការណ៍សមរាត្រីនៅប្រាសាទអង្គរវត្ត រឺព្រឹត្តិការណ៍ព្រះអាទិត្យរះចំកំពូលប្រាសាទអង្គរវត្ត”. This Angkor Equinox event is celebrated to promote the tourism activities in Cambodia and the great wisdom of the ancient Khmer ancestors for building these human heritages of Angkor temples and more. Most of every year since 2016, the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia creates a Social Media Selfie Photo Contest called Equinox Angkor Selfie Photo contest (កម្មវិធីប្រកួតប្រជែងថតរូបស៊ែលហ្វី). The winner Number 1 receives certificate and USD 200 cash, Number 2 gets USD 150 and Number 3 gets USD 100. Local and international visitors are welcomed to participate in the contest.
However, as for 2021, it seems that the event campaign has not been launched yet. Please visit the the MOT Facebook Pages for the Updates:
When Does Angkor Equinox Happen?
As of this year 2021, the event will be held on March 21, 2021 which is a special day and top number of 3 + 3 + 3=9. March: 3, 2+1=3, 2+1=3.
According to names given, the Angkor Equinox itself has been called in Khmer as “សមរាត្រីនារដូវប្រាំង” literally means “Dry Season Equinox” for March Equinox and “សមរាត្រីនារដូវវស្សា” means “Wet Season Equinox”. With the fact that Cambodia affected by the monsoon wind blowing in two directions. Therefore mainly Cambodia only consists of two seasons: Dry Season (October – April) matched as Spring Equinox and Wet Season (May – September) matched as Autumn Equinox. This names applied to those countries in the Northern Hemisphere only. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the names are reversed, March called Autumn and September called Spring. These names follow and respect the seasons and sunlight.
Both of these two Angkor Equinox phenomenons could be observed from 21 to 23 of March and September. Visitors can go to watch the Sunrise and Sunset over Angkor Wat temple towers any of those days.
Is It Coincidence to Have S𝐮𝐧 R𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐬 Over 𝐀𝐧𝐠𝐤𝐨𝐫 𝐖𝐚𝐭 Central Tower?
It is truly not an accidence for this equinox over Angkor Wat temple. The Khmer ancestors had a clear goal to design and set the central tower linking to this natural phenomenon. The Khmer ancient astronomers must have given a well thought and studied guidance to the Angkor architects, Priest, and the King on this astronomic phenomenon.
To proof that, Sam Inspire invite you to watch the video interviews posted on Mr. You Khemarak official Facebook page on the topic of “Astronomical Viewpoint Linking to Khmer temples Location Selection”. These three videos are in Khmer language and mainly focusing on the Reasons Angkor Wat was Built in Siem Reap. But a lot more contextual information are there to learn from. Please enjoy the lectures:
From these lessons, we could assume that the Angkor Equinox is not by chance but as clear purposes since it was designed and sketched.
Equinox Angkor on 23 March 2021
This remarkable Angkor Equinox event has been also highlighted on Sam Inspire Angkor YouTube Channel and get the best interest from the audience around the world.
Please enjoy as following:
This video is featuring the best Equinox Angkor on 23 March 2021. This is the best Sunrise ever when the run is just rising over the central tower of Angkor Wat temple. This YouTube video itself is created by Sam Inspire Angkor channel in a Livestreaming style with a minimum edit. What special about this video, in addition to the Angkor Equinox itself, Sam also brings you the full tours of Angkor Wat from the complete dawn to full sunlight, from different exterior corners to the top floor of Bakan tower, from a few people at Equinox to zero people on the causeway. This video is the exclusive property of Sam Inspire Angkor YouTube channel.
Video General Sections:
First part of the video is about the Sunrise from different corners and position at different time lapses, especially from Northern moat bank with spectacular view. Second part is about the tours inside the temple with climbing up Bakan Haven floor. Walking around some galleries and some more great pictures of Zero people at Angkor Wat main causeway where it used to be supper crowded. However, you will also find the Chapters of the video where you can jump to that section right away.
Note: This article is for information purpose only, no liability will be taken for legal or official reference. Revisions could be done at the author’s discretion.
SAM INSPIRE family hopes you find this information useful to your research. This article is the reflection of Mr. Sam’s findings. If you need further support, please feel free to contact Sam, he will be so happy to do more steps to help you out.