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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Cambodia Festivals and Events

Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal
Cambodia, April / May
The Royal Ploughing ceremony, or the opening of the Sacred Furrow, is the first of the traditional agrarian festivals. The ritual is performed by King Meakh, who leads the yoke and plough, followed by a woman, Queen Me Hour, who sows seeds. After thrice circling the rice field, the procession stops at a chapel where Brahmins invoke the protection of the Gods. The sacred cows are unharnessed and guided to seven silver trays containing rice, corn, bean, and other edibles. Based on their choice, predictions are made for the coming year. If they choose the cereals, harvest will be good. If they eat herbs, cattle diseases are to be feared. If they drink water, rain will be abundant and peace will reign; but if they drink alcohol, trouble will break out in the Kingdom.

Bonn Chaul Chnam
Cambodia, 13 April
The New Year's Festival spans three days following the end of the harvest season. Khmers clean and decorate their houses with an altar for offerings to the Tevoda of the coming year. They also visit the temple with offerings. Then they play traditional games such as Angkunh, Chaol Chhoung, Leak Kansaeng, and tug of war.

Bonn Dak Ben and Bonn Phchum Ben
Cambodia, September
Spirits Commemoration Festival is held for the spirits of the dead. Bonn Dak Ben is the offering of food to the monks at least for 15 days.On the 15th day of the ceremony which is the full moon, called Bonn Phchum Ben, the collection of the bens (offerings) is taken. During this celebration, if departed souls do not find their family making offerings at a wat, it is believed that the soul is cursed and will bother the descendent throughout the year.

Bonn Kathen
Cambodia, October
This religious festival lasts for 29 days. The monks come out of their retreat. Town and country folks march in a procession to the wat, where the monks are waiting to change their old saffron robes for the new ones offered during the festival. The ceremony brings spiritual merit to both lay people and the monks.

Bonn Om Tuk
Cambodia, November
The three day Water Festival celebrates the river's changing flow by watching a festive cavalcade of competitive boat races. The finish line symbolizes a gate that retains the water. Once the line is cut, water flows down the Mekong, commencing the fishing season. Other traditional ceremonies are the midnight meals of pounded rice and full moon celebration, with lighted flotillas and fireworks in the evening.

Independence Day
Cambodia, Nov 09, 2000
The 9th of November 1953 is the date Cambodia achieved independence from France. The occasion is marked each year by a gala parade in front of the Royal Palace, which includes floats, marching bands and other spectacles highlighting the nation's achievements.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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