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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Cambodia celebrates Water Festival

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia on Sunday started the celebrations of the annual Water Festival, the biggest festival in the capital city, in front of the Royal Palace here, which regularly draws over 1 million people from all over the country.

King Norodom Sihamoni, accompanied by the government leaders, including Prime Minister Hun Sen and members of the foreign diplomatic corps, watched the boat racing on the first day of the festival celebrations which will last through Tuesday.

Nearly 400 boats with more than 25,000 boat racers are ready to take part in the annual water festival. Last year, 424 boats with 26,000 boat racers came from various parts of the country participated.

Cambodia's boat races or water festival is a three-day event crediting Cambodia's strong armed forces in defeating enemies by using boats.

Every year, millions of Cambodians are coming from across the country and are flocking to Phnom Penh to view and enjoy the boat races. Besides the boat racing, the three-day celebrations include firework, moon prayers and illuminated boats with ministry and royal emblems.

The 1,700-meter race is held on the Mekong River in the capital in front of the Royal Palace.

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