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Children in Cambodia Celebrate the Cambodian Water Festival

This month, our staff in Cambodia shared with us about the Cambodian Water Festival — an important celebration for sponsored children in Cambodia.

The Cambodian Water Festival is celebrated November 7-9 to mark the end of monsoon season, when the rivers are highest. Children throughout the country have these days off from school — which they are surely excited about!

The celebration consists of regatta (boat racing), as well as three other ceremonies: the illuminated float (Loy Pratip), Moon salutation (Sampeas Preah Khe) and the eating of special rice with banana or coconut juice (Ork Ambok). 

In a typical year, families travel from around the country to watch the boat races in the Tonle Sap River in front of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Although this year, to prevent the spread of COVID at such a large nationwide event, the celebrations are primarily happening locally in each province.

Cheam Kosal, the country director of Holt Cambodia, says that all families celebrate it differently.

“Some of our sponsored children and families can enjoy the Water Festival in their province to see the boat racing,” Kosal says. “Some children might spend time together with their families or visit local tourism sites. Some children might stay at home to do self-learning during this holiday, or some children and families might visit their homeland.”

Because of Holt sponsors and donors, children have greater stability and all of their most basic needs are being met, making it possible for them to celebrate special events like this one.

two girls holding prayer hands, sampeah

Learn more about Holt’s work in Cambodia!

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