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

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and