The Water Festival is known as Bon Om Touk in Khmer, it has been celebrated since as early as the 13th century, marks the end of Cambodia’s rainy season and the reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River.
This annual festival happens on the full moon of the Buddhist month of Kadeuk, the full moon is considered to bring good luck that can lead to an abundant harvest. Bon Om Touk is one of the most important celebrations for the Cambodian people.
The festival is celebrated throughout Cambodia, though the size of the celebrations varies depending on location. In Siem Reap and Phnom Penh as well as other provinces in Cambodia.
For instance, the festival is commemorated with boat races, which are said to celebrate a Khmer military victory in the 12th century, have cultural and historical precedent that make you learn more about this country’s rich heritage.
The celebrations include special feasts, performances, dances and parties, and there are songs centred on Bon Om Touk that are commonly performed during the event. Stay late into the night, and you can see some impressive fireworks displays.
The Water Festival only takes place once a year. In 2023, the festival takes place from November 26-28.