Water Festival in Siem Reap Cambodia
Siem Reap Water Festival (Bon Om Tuk) is a traditional holiday that enables people to have an insight into the life of local Cambodians. Water Festival holds every full moon using the Buddhist month of Kadeuk. This month falls in November.
The Water Festival is used to mark the finalisation of the monsoon (heavy raining season) and that of a bountiful rice season. It also marks that the Tonle Sap current had reversed and that fishing season would soon begin. To do this, there are lot events that help and increase the festivity of the event. People get themselves in such things as boat races, celebration, and water rituals. The event takes place within three days.
The Festival always have a lot of people focused on the boat races on the Siem Reap River. The boat races always see over 400 boats partaking in the competition.
History Of Water Festival Siem Reap
The Water Festival in Cambodia can be traced to the days of King JayavarmanVII of the Khmer Empire. In the Khmer Language, it is referred to as Bon Om Tuk or Bon Om Touk.
It has similarities with festivals like Loy Krathong of the neighbouring Thailand. The Bon Om Touk can be translated into English to mean “The Water and Moon Festival”.
It was used in ancient time and had always been used to celebrate the end of the rainy season. The downpour during the monsoon season is always so substantial enough to reverse the direction of Tonle Sap River. The river would change course from flowing towards the Mekong river and wouldn't change direction until the rain stops. However, when this rain stops, the river would head back to the Tonle Sap Lake. Since the phenomenon is unusual, the Cambodians see it as unique and worth celebrating.
Recently, millions of people can be seen converging on the capital to be a part of this festival. And in this way, they have built exceptional things that would make people’s stay comfortable and memorable.
Tips To Help You Enjoy The Trip To Cambodia
- Based on the last Siem Reap Water Festival, there is a higher chance of the first boat race starting at 2 pm.
- Follow the weather of Cambodia. They ensure the festival is held on the full of the Buddhist Month.
- Book your Guesthouse, Hotel or Resort rooms ahead of time. With the influx of people, there might not be enough space if you do not book your space in advance.
- When visiting the Temples of Angkor show respect for the Cambodian culture and dress modestly (Temple Tours).
- November is a pleasant time of year with less rain as we move into Dry Season. It is, therefore, necessary to have loose clothing cotton, sunblock, and a hat.
- Also, frequently drink a lot of water. Water is complementary at River Village Manor as we no longer sell plastic water bottles, just provide your own water bottle or use the bottle provided in the room and drink as much as you like!
Places and Things To Enjoy At The Siem Reap Water Festival
- Go to Pub Street area, it will be busy but great fun for all the family.
- Visit the riverside where most of the activities are sure to take place, great fun for all.