Cambodia’s traditional Water and Moon Festival or “Bon Om Touk” (បុណ្យអុំទូក អកអំបុក សំពះព្រះខែ), formerly Water Festival, is celebrated in the capital Phnom Penh and provincial towns every November to mark, amongst other things, the end of the rainy season, the reversal to normal course of the Tonle Sap river, and to honor the imperial navy of the Khmer Empire. Although likely rooted in ancient Angkor, the modern tradition is primarily focused at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, whose location at the confluence of four rivers (Chaktomouk), makes the royal capital ideal for provincial boats to float to the venue of celebration with ease. Please note that Cambodian Water Festival is not to be confused with traditional new year Water Festival in Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar which falls in April.
As a native of Phnom Penh, I grew up either liking or hating the crowds that converge in there. I have always heard and seen on TV some of the same though smaller celebrations in Cambodia’s smaller towns and in the former Khmer provinces in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam. But with the boat races in Phnom Penh cancelled for many years following the tragic stampede in 2010 and the advance of social media seems to highlight the many and equally colorful events happening beyond Phnom Penh. These are perhaps reason for Phnom Penhois to, once again, enjoy Bon Om Touk, away from home.
Lowell, USA (August 15): [Click date to Facebook as post embed not working]
A family trip to Lowell Water Festival in 2015:
Lowell, USA in 2014:
Battambang (October 25): [Click date to Facebook as post embed not working]
អុំទូក បណ្តែតប្រទីត ចេញព្រះវស្សា ខេត្តបាត់ដំបងរូបភាព Sotheara GBShttp://battambangpage.blogspot.com
Svay Rieng, Cambodia (November 1):
Tra Vinh (ខេត្តព្រះត្រពាំង), Vietnam (November 23): [Click date to Facebook as post embed not working]
Soc Trang (ខេត្តឃ្លាំង), Vietnam in 2013:
Siem Reap-Angkor, Cambodia (November 24): [Click date to Facebook as post embed not working]
Apparently, this year’s biggest.
អបអរសាទរ ព្រះរាជពិធីបុណ្យ អុំទូក អកអំបុក បណ្តែតប្រទីប និង សំពះព្រះខែ អាជ្ញាធរខេត្តសៀមរាបរៀបចំពិធីបុណ្យអុំទូករយៈពេលពីរថ្ង…
And back to … Phnom Penh (November 24): [Click date to Facebook as post embed not working]
What about other places? Where did you go during Water Festival?