WATER FESTIVAL 2010

WATER FESTIVAL 2010

There is normally prepared the national ceremony at the Royal Place for the whole symbolic country especially the year 2010. Cambodia hold an annual festival called “Bon Om Touk or Water Festival” which is had to inform all public, civil society and private sectors to stop to work for 3 days in order to attend the festival.

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The most villages throughout the country prepare Ambouk, Coconut and other fruits to offer to the moon at night in order to abide by the long Cambodian traditional belief of Buddhism religion.

This year remained more people from various provinces to crowdedly join in Phnom Penh because all the provincial racing boats were required to compete with each other in front of the Royal Palace along Mekong River which the racers started from the closed areas of Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge (Chrov Changva bridge) to go forward to the final point in front of the Royal Palace. All the streets were closed to the Mekong river prohibited all the types of vehicles, motors and bicycles entering because it caused the traffic jam.

During the 3 days there were the present Prime Minister, Ministers and King attending the ceremony to sit on the honorable stage in front of the Royal Palace to watch the racing boats including their body guards who coordinated the crowded situations and secured the high ranking officials with the King Sihamoni until the late evening. Suddenly the fireworks were burnt to be exploded in the sky looked so beautiful views at night in front of the Royal Palace campus.

Most Cambodian people took their journeys to watch the Product Expos in the Samdech Hun Sen garden, Diamond Island and other public gardens which were closed to the participant sites. There were also various concerts performing in their stages such as the disabled concert group in front of Botumvadey pagoda and other popular concerts in Koh Pich Island. Particularly, there were the Indonesian and Vietnamese Product Expos in the halls of Koh Pich Island attracting more participants to come inside to watch the various products. Mostly the products during the Expos were cheap enough and remained some for their audiences to tests at their stalls.

Unfortunately, the 3rd day of Water Festival the unexpected trampled chaos happened in the Koh Pich bridge around 21:00pm after an unknown crying voices said the bridge broke, so most of the walkers across the bridge felt shock and uncontrollable their feelings to fall into the hard chaos to trample each other to death. In addition, most of the dead participants were too tired of walking for 3 days to attend the festival. That was why they could move off the chaotic situations quickly causing more 300 killed in just 3 to 4 hours. It was very historical experience to prepare for the following years.

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