The traditional boat racing festival in Cambodia takes place right in front of the Royal Palace of Cambodia on the 15th November, the last full moon day in the rainy season. The festival is also known as Bon Om Touk water festival by Khmer, attracting nearly 2 million tourists visiting each year.
The Cambodian boat racing festival was found on the walls of Angkorian capital from the 12th century. Being rooted in the long history, Bon Om Touk certainly brings the feeling of an attractive competition that is mixed the palpitation and the fun. It will leave unforgettable marks for visitors when they mix with this amazing race.
The water festival of the Khmer shows traditional features, talent, agility, perseverance, art, happiness, peace-loving, community solidarity, ethnic pride and specially patriotism and sense of national defense. Read more: Tours in Cambodia
The water festival also involves three other celebrations:
Loy Pratip: an evening march on river with featuring beautifully-illuminated boats lighting up the waterways. The boats are decorated with light and have different symbols. The symbols are normally the logo of the ministries or other important institutions of government. Visitors could enjoy the firework when a numerous light boats are floating.
Sampeas Preah Khe: It means that the salutation to the moon. The full moon is supposed to be good sign for the next harvest, which is the reason for Cambodians make sure to give thanks to it on Bon Om Touk, and pray for a bountiful harvest ahead.At the full-moon night, all people pray together under the light of the moon.
Auk Ambok: At midnight, people 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.
This festival lasts three days to provide opportunity for people to be parts 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.
You can book a day and a night cruise on a boat to explore this special event in Cambodia such as Cruise Mekong river.
The Indochina Voyages team.