Centuries-old tradition returns to Cambodia

Centuries-old tradition returns to Cambodia

A boat race tradition observed for hundreds of years made a welcome return to Cambodia after three years of absence.

The Kingdom temporarily stopped the celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The return of Cambodia’s grandest festival has been met with great excitement and cheers.

Tens of thousands of spectators gathered on both sides of the Tonle Sap River to witness the oarsmen compete in the boat race, which is the centerpiece of the 3-day festival.

The boat races have been an important part of the Southeast Asian country’s 800-year-old tradition.

His Majesty the King Norodom Sihamoni attended the first day of the Water Festival which attracted more than one million people.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet, and his father Hun Sen – the country’s former ruler – also joined the King in watching the boat races in front of the Royal Palace in the Capital of Phnom Penh.

Hun Manet wished for the people to have a safe journey and good health.

He also sponsored 40 racing boats together with his father.

The annual festival marks the end of the monsoon season and shows the appreciation of the Cambodians for nature, water, and productive harvests, as well as commemorating the country’s rich culture and long history.

The event started on Sunday, November 26, and will end on Tuesday, November 28.

The government hopes the festival will boost the country’s tourism sector and help with economic recovery.

Follow SMNI NEWS on Twitter