Bon Om Touk (Water Festival) is a Cambodian traditional festival held in November during three days throughout the country but the biggest ceremonies usually take place in Phnom Penh, marking the reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River and the end of the rainy season.
It was originally celebrated in the reign of King Jayavarman VII to commemorate the Khmer navy’s victory against the Chams. The outer bas-relief of the Bayon temple, at the eastern section of the south wall, depicted this naval battle.
The festival includes boat races, concerts and ceremonies such as Ork Ambok, named after pounded rice, Sampeah Preah Khae during which salutations are made to the moon and Bandaet Pratip that begins around 7 pm with illuminated boats taking to the water.
Royalty, peasants from the villages and tourists converge on the city for one of the biggest festivals in South East Asia. The river fronts are flooded with merchants and competitors from near and far for a royal blessing based on their naval ability. ”
This magnificent festival attracts several million people each year.