Nov 19, 2010


Cambodia Water Festival

  • Nov 19, 2010
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  • For the people of Cambodia, the water Festival in Phnom Penh is the most magnificent traditional festival. This natural occurrence is celebrated in Cambodia with three days of festivals, fluvial parades, boat races, fireworks, and general merriment

    This year, there are 420 boat races and 4,000,000-5,000,000 of citizens, foreign tourists and peasants from various provinces gather in the capital to join with celebration. School will close, and most workers go on vacation. Moreover, certain roads near the river are blocked against motor traffic, allowing the thousands of celebrants to walk among the streets, sampling the festival's entertainments.

    Background of Water Festival:

    The Water Festival was celebrated by the King's Navy to kick off the Cambodian fishing season - the fluvial festivities are meant to keep the river divinities happy, ensuring a bountiful harvest of rice and fish for the year to come.

    The water festival ceremony is the army training to do attest of the army for preparing to battle enemy. At Bayon near Siem Reap, naval battles have been carved into the stonework, depicting boats not that much different from the boats that race on Tonle Sap today.
    In the ancient story, Khmer King always does the battle with enemies by sailing. So he prepares this water festival ceremony every year to choose Champion of sailing battle, as in Bayon Temple, Batteay Chhmar in the Preah Bat Jayvarman VII. We had seen a lot of statues about sailing battle under leading of Jayvarman VII. The custom of this is to have from then up to the present.
    On the other hand the water is celebrated every years in November to honor the victory of Cambodian Naval forces in the reign of King JayvarmanVII, during Angkor period of the 12th century. 

    And this ceremony is to history about military exercise of our navy force in the course of national defense and to express thanks to the 3 Buddhist symbols Gods and holy thing which helped us and agriculture field and serves as an opportunity to pray for our lord for the happiness and sufficient rain for rice cultivation.
    Three ceremonies underpin the entire Bon Om Touk celebration:

    Loy Pratip: an evening fluvial parade, featuring beautifully-illuminated boats lighting up the waterways. Government institutions sponsor each of the boats on parade.

    Sampeas Preah Khe: the salutation to the moon. The full moon is supposed to be a good sign for the coming harvest, which is why Cambodians make sure to give thanks to it on Bon Om Touk, and pray for a bountiful harvest ahead.

    Auk Ambok: at midnight, celebrants gather at temples to eat ambok ("flattened rice"), a holiday rice dish. Ambok is simply rice fried in the husk, pounded to remove the husk, and mixed with banana and coconut.
    The ceremony last three days to provide opportunity for people to by part in competition that there were to types of boats from near and far of provinces, taking part in the races, the pirogue and the rowing boat. Each boat was manned by about thirty to forty men or women. The boat with a man or a woman dancing softly and gracefully to the rhythm of the drums on the bow as an encouragement to the rowers moved swiftly through the water. 

    There as the race winners will be rewarded a lot of  good such as: drink, money, clothes, rice, cigarettes and the commission of the boat racing day must seek donations in order to provide this prize for participants.

    During the nighttime at about seven o'clock the river was lit by jazzy illuminated boats, which floated slowly, and smoothly on the water's surface. Each of them was equipped with thousands of flashy neon lights arranged in different colorful, fancy patterns representing state institutions, ministries and services. 

    After a little time fireworks and multi color were lit to entertain people. Some of people made loud noises. They burst into different shapes and colors in the sky under the clapped and cheered with joy each time at the sight of the fireworks.

    Finally the water festival is the festivity for the Cambodian people who celebrated every years and going for a walk during the ceremony days really refreshed our mood. The lively festive atmosphere helped relive our tension and trouble.

    1 Responses to “Cambodia Water Festival”

    Anonymous said...

    April 01, 2012

    wow i find that amazing what month is it in?

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