Cambodian villagers celebrate a traditional hunting festival in Xinhua Cultural District

Cambodian villagers celebrate a traditional hunting festival in Xinhua Cultural District

A villager presents a freshly caught fish during a traditional fishing festival in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia on February 11, 2024. (Photo by Sao Khuth/Xinhua)

About two tons of fish were caught at this year’s fishing festival in Cambodia’s cultural province of Siem Reap.

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) — Wading through thigh-deep muddy water in a large lake here in Siem Reap Cultural Province, hundreds of villagers today (Sunday) used traditional fishing tools to catch fish in the annual fishing festival. .

Wearing palm-leaf hats and traditional scarves to protect themselves from the blazing sun, villagers catch freshwater snakehead fish, catfish and climbing perch in a protected lake in Pangkwang village in Prasat Bakong district, about 300 kilometers from the capital Phnom Penh.

Villager Chan Boon said that villagers celebrate this tradition every year in February after the rice harvest season.

“It has been celebrated since ancient times. This is the tradition of Cambodian villagers here,” he told Xinhua while participating in the ceremony.

“I am very happy to join this festival and would like to see the villagers continue to preserve this tradition forever,” he added.

Boone, who has been participating in the event for more than 10 years, noted that this traditional ceremony is gaining popularity from year to year, as more and more people join it.

Su Platong, governor of Prasat Bakong District, said this tradition has existed since ancient times to mark the end of the rice harvest season, and has been passed down through generations.

A villager pulls his net during a traditional fishing festival in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia on February 11, 2024. (Photo by Sao Khuth/Xinhua)

“This is the tradition of villagers in Siem Reap province, which includes the Angkor Archaeological Park,” he told reporters at the event. “It is one of our traditional festivals to help attract national and international tourists.”

Platong said participants are only allowed to use traditional fishing equipment such as woven bamboo traps and nets to collect their catch.

Pangkwang village chief Bich Khin said the festival not only preserved ancient traditions but also reminded people not to use illegal fishing gear.

He added that about two tons of fish were caught in this year’s event.

He added, “The production of fish caught this year was less than in 2023, but the number of villagers participating in this festival was more than last year.”

“In our area, most of the fish are snakehead, catfish and climbing perch,” he added.

Fish is a major source of protein for residents in the Southeast Asian country. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodians eat an average of 52.4 kilograms of fish per person per year.

(tags for translation) Cambodia Fishing Festival

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