Monday, 10 November 2008

Cambodia's biggest Water Festival coming this week

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- A record 4 million people are expected to join the celebrations of the Water Festival from Tuesday to Thursday, marking this year's event the biggest ever, national media reported Monday.

"We are celebrating the festival... according to traditional ceremonies of the past, which considered this time as the end of the harvest season and the end of the seasonal work," Chea Kean, deputy director of the National and International Festival Committee, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

Traditionally, the King organized the festivals to be celebrated over three days to let all the people in the whole country enjoy the celebrations, Chea Kean said.

The Water Festival marks the end of the rainy season and the reversal of the Tonle Sap, the newspaper said.

The most famous of the ceremonies during the Water Festival is the Ragatta festival, where hundreds of dragon boats compete for the King's praise as large crowds cheer on the riverfront, it said.

However, the history behind the Regatta festival is more serious.

The Regatta festival celebrates King Jayavarman VII's 1178 victory over the Champa Kingdom after a naval war that took place on the Tonle Sap River.

Editor: Zheng E


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