At the beginning of this month we celebrated the Water Festival! It’s celebrated because twice a year the Tonle Sap River changes directions. How? Let me get a bit geeky on you. When it’s the rainy season the Tonle Sap River swells and pours into the Tonle Sap Lake, which is roughly the same elevation. When it’s the dry season, the river elevations go down and the lake pours into the river, thus changing the flow direction. This direction change is a really cool provider of nutrient rich soil to Cambodia. In April when this happens, the Khmer celebrate New Year and in November it’s the Water Festival!
The festival is three days long, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Throughout all three days you can see boat races along the river. I think most, if not all, the provinces send a team with their super long boat. During the day are tons of concerts and awesome street food. Every night there are fireworks (much to Geordi’s annoyance) and barges (see above) with lit up structures. This is what one of those barges looks like during the day. We had lots of fun with our team walking by the river and watching the race and at night we could see the fireworks from our apartment!