Another week of November has come and gone in Cambodia, which means more holidays are upon us! First, today is actually Independence day, so perhaps a round of happy birthday is in order! Other than this wonderful holiday, there is another that relates to our word of the week:
Part of Speech: Noun
Pronunciation: Bohn Ohm Dtuk
Definition: Water Festival
This coming weekend is one of the biggest holidays of the year in the Kingdom of Wonder: Cambodian Water Festival. Other than Khmer New Year in April, this celebration is the largest and most exciting of the year. During the Water Festival, two main things are celebrated. First, this marks the start of the fishing season, which means fresher fish on the table! Second, at this time of the year, the current of the Tonle Sap River CHANGES DIRECTIONS. Yeah, it is the only river in the world to do that! After a few months it will return to it’s normal current into the Mekong, but for the next few it will be running backwards. The last Cambodian Water Festival was in 2014, which makes this one an even bigger deal than before. Past years have had low water levels in rivers and other issues, making it impossible to celebrate and in turn, postponing the games…until now. So far this year’s festival has not been cancelled, and that is very good news! The festival will start this Sunday and then run through Tuesday. There are boat races, bright light decorations, food, and carnivals along the riverside, and Phnom Penh has the biggest celebration of all. I am ecstatic to see what this celebration will bring, and learn more about the cultural significance of the day!