Bon Om Touk, or the Cambodian Water Festival marks the reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River. It corresponds to the lunar Mid-Autumn Festival. “Auk Ambok’’ & ‘’ Sampeas Preah Khe” is a ceremony part of water festival, which usually happens on the second day of the holiday.
Sampeas Preah Khe refers to the Moon Salutation. Cambodians assemble at the pagodas just before midnight to eat Ambok, a traditional Cambodian rice dish consisting of rice fried in its husk, then pounded with a pestle and mixed with banana and coconut. “Auk Ambok" means a gathering with your family to eat the flattened rice with coconut, banana and then salute to the moon during this ceremony.
More about Ambok: At the beginning of the rice harvest, some rice is set aside to be specially prepared and eaten during certain Khmer ceremonies. In Khmer, this is called dalambok (rice flattening) to get flattened rice (Ambok). Traditionally, the rice (Ambok) is served for the Sampeas Preah Khe (Moon salutation) celebration during the Water Festival. Flattened rice can also be prepared year-round and is eaten in other special family gatherings. To prepare dalambok, first, fresh rice is heated in a dry pan. Then, the rice is put in a wooden cylinder (tbaal) and pounded with a heavy stick. After the pounding, the rice hulls are separated and thrown away. Ambok can be eaten dry as a snack. Most families will add coconut milk, sugar and banana to make it more delicious and sweet.
In Cambodia, a full moon is said to be a good omen for the upcoming harvest, so they gather during the Water Festival to thank and make wishes to the moon for a fruitful rice harvest in the months to come. Based on the myth, it also refers to the reincarnation of the Buddha as white rabbit.
In the tale, a farmer met the white rabbit and wished to eat it. The white rabbit agreed on one condition that the farmer must provide the harvest as offering once every year. So now, people usually say they see the shadow of the white rabbit in the moon.
On behalf of Dynamic Group, we wish you and your families a very happy snd safe Water Festival Holiday ahead!
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