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Sun to Rise over Angkor Wat Peak on September 22

PHNOM PENH: Twice a year, a magical scene appears at Angkor Wat as the sun rises directly over the temple for the Vernal Equinox in March and the Autumnal Equinox in September.

According to the Head of the Department for the Preservation of Temples in Angkor Park, Im Sokrithy, tourists should be able to catch the spectacular phenomenon this month on September 22.

Equinox occurs on a day when daytime and nighttime are nearly equal in length. This time of year, the days are usually longer than the nights but the equinox marks a shift. At Angkor Wat, the sun rises directly over the peak of the main temple as it rises and presents a unique photo op from the central gate.

This year’s Vernal Equinox on March 21 attracted 8,726 visitors, over 2,000 of which were foreign tourists.

Angkor Wat’s alignment to the equinox shows the skills, knowledge and creativity of the ancient Khmer Empire while also acknowledging a shared fascination with astronomy that is demonstrated across many ancient cultures. Modern day social media users continue the tradition of marvelling at man’s connection to the cosmos. 

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