PM: Prolonged Covid-19 Pandemic, ASEAN Summit, Major Reasons Behind Cancellation of Water Festival Celebration

Prolonged Covid-19 pandemic and the hosting of ASEAN Summit in November are the main factors that the Royal Government of Cambodia decided to cancel the celebration of annual Water Festival in November this year, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia said on Thursday.

In a voice message to his compatriots, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said that the cancellation of the Water Festival is aimed to prevent the community outbreak of Covid-19 during the huge gathering during the festival.

Official visits of leaders of China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei, the organisation of ASEAN Summit, as well as the Independence Day celebration in November are the main factors behind the festival cancellation, he said, stressing that the events need high security.

Water Festival is one of the largest festivals in the Southeast Asian nation, attracting hundreds of thousands of people to the capital to enjoy a regatta along a stretch of the Tonle Sap River in front of the Royal Palace.

Even though the national-level celebration of Water Festival is cancelled, provincial authorities could organise boat races in their respective localities on that occasion.

The festival, which aligns with the date of the full moon in the Khmer lunar calendar month of Kadeuk when the rice crops in paddy fields are ready for harvest — was also postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.