Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bon Om Tuk



Bon Om Tuk

Bon Om Tuk

Thousands and thousands of people crowded the banks of the Tonle Sap to watch the

annual Water Festival (Bon Om Tuk) boat races.

The festivities ran for three days from Nov. 27-29 and date back to an historic point

in Khmer history when King Jayavarman VII and his navy defeated water-borne invaders

during the 12th century.

More than 200 boats from all parts of the country participated in this year's celebrations,

racing a 1,000 meter course with the finishing line in front of the Royal Palace

.

The Water Festival coincides with two others: Ok Ambok (The Pounding of Rice) and

Sampeah Preah Khai (Full Moon Prayers).

Ok Ambok stems from Buddhist mythology about a female giant who can predict the weather.

Farmers are said to believe in her power and hold the ceremony each year to honor

her.

Sampeah Preah Khai, according to folklore, is dedicated to the power of a rabbit

that took its own life in a fire to serve as food for an emaciated old man who visited

Earth as a god in human form.

The two celebrations begin at midnight when the moon is full. According to Khmer

mythology, the rabbit symbolizes fidelity, justice and honesty, and some celebrants

look for the rabbit's figure drawn by the god in the full moon.

MOST VIEWED

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there