Kep provincial authorities plan to hold a Khmer kite flying event to help preserve the culture, traditions, and customs of the Khmer nation, as well as to boost tourism in the province for the coming New Year celebrations. 

According to an announcement by provincial governor Som Piseth, the event will be held at the new Kep Crab Market beach area on December 30. 

He called on all authorities and forces, as well as the public who love and have the talent to make kites, to make the day a happy one by showcasing their skills.

“The purpose of the kite event is to contribute to the preservation of our nation’s rich cultural traditions and customs and to promote tourism in the province, as well as to create fun for national and international tourists who come to relax in Kep province,” he said.

He added that there will be awards and certificates of appreciation once the kites are evaluated based on their creativity, form and technique in production, beauty and the participants proficiency in flying and landing.

Sambo Manara, a history professor, said that kite flying is a tradition that young Cambodians often enjoy during the lunar month when the wind blows from the north. 

He added that the activity had been around since the Angkorian era when both young and old made kites for flying in the autumn season.

He said Cambodian ancestors believed that if a kite broke its string and hung on any house, it was a sign of bad luck, adding that they celebrated the event in wide-open fields to avoid such incidents.

“This is a good idea that the Kep provincial authorities have thought of because it serves as a reminder of a historical Khmer custom. Therefore, it is beneficial as it showcases the enjoyment and preservation of our Khmer tradition,” he said.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), said that the event would attract national and international travellers. 

Cambodian celebrated Khmer Kite Flying Festival. FB

She also noted that the event is a reminder of Khmer tradition and that while it has been around for a long time, some of the younger generation are unaware of it. 

“So, organising this event will definitely attract local and foreign tourists because our tradition and culture always catch people’s attention,” she said. 

She added that in addition to attracting international visitors, the Kingdom itself also needs to organise fun events that accompany the highlights of its traditional culture to promote economic growth in local communities and to help boost national economic growth as well.