Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Date set for this year’s Water Festival holiday

Date set for this year’s Water Festival holiday

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thousands of people crowd Phnom Penh’s riverside to watch traditional boat races during Water Festival celebrations in 2014. Photo supplied

Date set for this year’s Water Festival holiday

The Committee for Organising National and International Festivals (CRNIF) said the Kingdom will mark this year’s Water Festival on November 21-23.

CRNIF permanent deputy director Chhin Ketana told The Post on Tuesday that the committee had informed the relevant institutions, especially at provincial levels, to get boat rowers of all types ready, both physically and technically, for the three-day festivities, which normally draw large crowds from throughout the Kingdom.

“Rowers have to be physically fit, in good health and able to swim. All boats joining the race also have to be decorated in Khmer style. The boats should be fast and have a clear background,” he said.

Despite less than three weeks away, Ketana said CRNIF had neither held a meeting to discuss budget plans for the event nor announced specific dates to submit applications.

The festival has had a rocky history over the past years. On the event’s last day in 2010, which saw nearly a million visitors pack into the capital, thick crowds resulted in a bottleneck on a bridge leading to Koh Pich.

The resulting panic saw 353 people killed in a stampede as the crowd surged forward.

In 2011 and 2013, the government cancelled the festival, citing mass flooding, whereas the death of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk weeks before the festival was given as the reason for its cancellation in 2012.

The event was also cancelled at the last minute in 2015, despite assurances from Prime Minister Hun Sen that the celebrations would go on.

While the government blamed low water levels due to an ongoing drought, many concluded fear of an influx of visitors at a time when political tensions were high as the real reason.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led