The boat racing in Bon Om Touk Festival
The boat racing in Bon Om Touk Festival

Water Festival Cambodia – Bon Om Touk Festival

If  Thailand has the famous Songkran water festival, water festival Cambodia is very famous Bon Om Touk water festival. It is very special and jolly. The event last for three days, anticipate attracting more than 1 million inhabitants participate. All Know-How will share you the exciting experiences around this water festival.

The people participate in water festival cheerfully
The people participate in water festival cheerfully

Explore the unique Bon Om Touk water festival in Cambodia

The boat racing festival
The boat racing festival

The thunderous shout from the crowd concentrates on the riverside of Tonle Sap in Phnom Penh, Cambodia when the wooden boats begin the race. Looking from afar, the boats have slender, long shape with colorful.

The racing boats
The racing boats

They surf rapidly on the water surface by the rowing of 80 people contain man and women. That is one of the jolliest images in the Bom Om Touk water festival in Cambodia. The festival this year is held from the 21st to the 23rd of November. This is also one of the most appreciate festival, with the expectation of attracting more than one million inhabitants of Cambodia from provinces, cities to Phnom Penh.

Bon Om Touk and the things you need to know

It also called The Moon festival, Bon Om Touk also coincides with the full moon occasion in Katduek Buddhism month, marks the cessation of the rainy season and prays for a verdant harvest after.

Tonle Sap in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tonle Sap in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tonle Sap and Mekong river have an influence on the life of inhabitants temple pagoda country. Because they supply abundant fish source for food and provide cattle source, consolidate alluviums for harvest. The festival marks the special nature event which is the current of Tonle Sap change its direction.

The Tonle Sap at night
The Tonle Sap at night

In a year, the water of Tonle Sap pours into Mekong river. However, when the rainy season begins, the water of the Mekong river increases and reverse the water. This makes the volume of water increases 10 times.

The terrible disaster which occurred in 2010

The people trampled upon each other in the festival
The people trampled upon each other in the festival

There was a sad event which happened in 2010, the disaster occurred at the festival when the crowded hustled, trampled upon each other on the bridge in Koh Pich. That made 340 peoples lost their lives and 750 peoples were injured. After the event, the festival has been paused for 3 years. When it is held again, the event is guaranteed more security than before with a lot of patrols policies and the measures to control the crowd.

The patrols policies control the crowd
The patrols policies control the crowd

What is the uniqueness of the water festival in Cambodia?

The boats drift under the vaporous moonlight
The boats drift under the vaporous moonlight

In the small festival occurs in Cambodia, the main event is the boat racing festival which is held in Phnom Penh capital. The participation of the festival more than 400 racing boats. Moreover, some events also are held in Siem Reap. In Phnom Penh, full of inhabitants concentrate on the riverside to encourage the team they like.

The inhabitants encourage the team they like
The inhabitants encourage the team they like

The event occurs under the witnessing of Norodom Sihamoni king.

Norodom Sihamoni king
Norodom Sihamoni king

After the race ended, the inhabitants also drop in the stalls to enjoying the traditional foods, participate in the music performances free of charge or…

The traditional street food in Cambodia
The traditional street food in Cambodia

When the night falls, the peoples also gather on the riverside to watch the performance which the boats drift under the vaporous moonlight. At the end of the festival, there are colorful fireworks.

The colorful fireworks
The colorful fireworks

Traditional

Racing boat become the traditional activities
Racing boat become the traditional activities

Racing boat not only for cheerful, but it also is the event which fishing village spent several months preparing. When the handicraftsmen decorate meticulously the details before painting color for the boats, the teams practice ardently and the villager prepares the expense for joining in the festival as well as cheer for the home team.

The handicraftsmen decorate the boat
The handicraftsmen decorate the boat

Not only the racing boat but the anniversary also special is held in the festival. The inhabitants can express their respect for the God of the land and river.

The people pray for abundant harvests
The people pray for abundant harvests

Sampeah Preah Khae occurs on the last day of the festival.  It also called the regard to the moon and becomes the occasion for inhabitants pray for abundant harvest after. At the ceremony, after the middle of the night when the inhabitants of Cambodia concentrate on the temples to praying under the moonlight, they will eat “auk ambok” dishes together- the rice dishes which was rolled into thin, fried and eaten with bananas, coconuts.

The traditional food
The traditional food

Preparing for participating in the water festival in Cambodia

In the water Bon Om Touk festival, the hotels are out of the room rapidly. You should choose a suitable time to book a ticket. Searching for the vehicles is also difficult, the tourists must make the plan to book taxi or buses. Most of the area in Phnom Penh City is walking street. So you need the check for the position of the hotel so convenient for moving.

The vehicles in Cambodia
The vehicles in Cambodia

In case, you want to follow the festival from afar, you can book the table before at the bars on the roof floor such as Le Moon, FCC or The Quay Boutique.

The Quay Boutique in Phnom Penh
The Quay Boutique in Phnom Penh

The festivals in Siem Reap will hold surrounding the Siem Reap river, but the number of people concentrates here is not as dense as the Phnom Penh capital area.

Let ‘S go to Cambodia to explore the unique water festival!

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