Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
King Norodom Sihamoni presides over the lighting of the lantern barges at the opening of this year's Water Festival on Sunday. Hong Menea

King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the lighting of the lantern barges, representing the many ministries, in front of the Royal Palace on Sunday as the first day of the annual Water Festival celebrations went smoothly.

Bun Veasna, an official at the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals, told The Post on Sunday that the first day of the festival had gone smoothly.

Government leaders including Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate President Say Chhum, President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng attended the event with the King.

“The first boat racing event went smoothly like every year. We finished the first round in the morning, and finished the second in the afternoon,” Veasna said.

National Police said they had deployed nearly 20,000 police officers in Phnom Penh to provide security at the festival, which ends on Tuesday.

On his Facebook page, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodians were enjoying the festival with big smiles on their faces. He said security forces were safeguarding the participants as well as the boat crews.

“Besides enjoying the boat racing on the river, people can shop at many stalls. May I wish all our compatriots happiness and good luck,” Hun Sen wrote.

Festival goer Sok Chea said he was enjoying himself as it was one of the biggest events of the year. He said he never misses it.

“There are fewer people here today compared to the first day of the Water Festival last year. But I think there will be more people tomorrow,” Chea said.

Daun Ley from Phnom Penh said she appreciated the security arrangements that had enabled her to enjoy the festival without fear.

“Along the streets, it is very safe because there is security taking care of us. I have no concerns and I am enjoying myself,” Ley said.

Boat racing on the Tonle Sap river on Sunday.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished