Annual Water Festival Kicks Off

Hundreds of thousands of Cambodian people have flocked to Phnom Penh capital city to enjoy the celebration of Bon Om Touk, well known as Water Festival, one of the most joyful festivals in Cambodia, taking place this year on Nov. 21-23.

Boat racing, which is a major event of the festival, kicked off this morning, at around 11:00 am, on the Tonle Sap River, in front of the Royal Palace with the participation of 298 boats and more than 20,000 rowers.

Beside boat racing, Loy Pratip - the display of decorative lighted boats from different public institutions, Sampeas Preah Khe - Moon Festival, and Ok Ambok - a type of glutinous rice roasted and crushed with pestle eaten with banana or coconut juice, are the main events of the three-day Water Festival.

All of the decorative lighted boats will be floated during the three evenings along the Tonle Sap River, from the Royal Palace to the Chroy Changvar Bridge until 10:00 pm. There will be also the display of fireworks at around 6:30 pm after His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, lights the victory flame to begin the parade of the illuminated boats.

In addition, there are various entertainment activities such as art performances, trade expos, and so on.

Over 1 million visitors are expected to come and enjoy each day of the festival. To prevent accidents, strengthen security and social order, and maintain the city's beauty, 12,754 security forces have been deployed, medical doctors and nurses have been stationed, some 500 mobile toilets and 1,600 bins have been put at different locations. Moreover, authorities have restricted the traffic of heavy trucks in the city from Nov. 20 to 24.

The annual event is broadcasted live by the National Television of Kampuchea (TVK) and the Radio National of Kampuchea (RNK).

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press