Traditional Fishing Ceremonies to Be Celebrated in Mid-February 

Traditional fishing ceremonies will be celebrated in Siem Reap and Tbong Khmum provinces on Feb. 11 and 17, respectively. Photo: Isa Rohany

PHNOM PENH – Traditional fishing ceremonies will be celebrated in Siem Reap and Tbong Khmum provinces on Feb. 11 and 17, respectively. Villagers will merrily gather at the specific lakes for fish catching by using only fishing traditional tools. 

Pich Khin, chief of Siem Reap province’s Bangkaong village said Bangkaong villagers will gather at the conservation lake for fish catching, symbolizing Lerng Meak, Lerng Neak Ta (a Khmer traditional spiritual ceremony), which is approaching soon after the rice harvest. 

“After announcing the specific date and location, I am looking forward to seeing more villagers taking part in this fishing ceremony this year,” Pich Khin said. 

“Throwback to the previous year, about 300 families, totaling more than 1,000 villagers, took part in the fishing ceremony. 

“However, this year’s water level is quite lower than last year. Probably, the fish will not be as abundant as last year. This year’s water level is at the waist while last year was close to the breast,” he said. 

Pich Khin said he intends to see foreigners visiting this upcoming fishing ceremony as well. 

The fishing ceremony at Bangkorng village will kick off at 6:30 a.m. by using only traditional fishing tools including nets or woven baskets.

Pich Khin said after the fish catching ends, villagers commonly bring rice and pots from their respective homes to have a meal together with their family and community. 

Only Bangkorng villagers are allowed to catch the fish in this lake but people can come to look at the ceremony.

In addition to having meals together, some villagers have to keep some fish to make Khmer noodles as offerings for the next day’s Lerng Meak ceremony at the pagoda.  

Besides Bangkorng village, another traditional fishing ceremony will be celebrated on Feb. 17 in Boeung Trapeang Kram, Satum village, Choam Krovean commune, Memot district in Tbong Khmum province. 

The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m.

This traditional fishing ceremony is celebrated to honor good spirits who help take care of the villagers to live happily and harvest plentifully. Villagers hope those good spirits bring happiness to the village in the following years. 


Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Rin Ousa for Cambodianess.

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