ដំណើរកំសាន្ត

Bonn Phum (Village Festival) – April 8, 9, 10 2016

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BONN PHUM THE ORIGIN OF THE VILLAGE FESTIVAL

Every year in almost every village in Cambodia, a special festival marks the end of a season of hard work. This is the Darlien or Sdarlien Festival-the Festival of the Harvest. Dar, more formally Sdar, means a Buddhist ritual or ceremony at which merit from good deeds is offered to the spirits of ancestors or to patrons. Lien is the name for the rice threshing yard. Although it always falls around the Khmer lunar months of Boh and Meak Thom (usually January and February on the western calendar), the timing of the festival depends on the season, the weather and the rice.

When the rice is ready for harvest, most of the villagers go to the fields to help bring it in. This is a period of backbreaking work. But when the fields are finally bare, that marks a time for celebration.

When our villagers have finished the harvest, we wait for that day to celebrate Darlien.
Mr. Vorn, an Achaa from Poun Phnom Pagoda in Dorn Kor district, Phnom Penh, said.
It always starts in the evening and finishes on the afternoon of the next day.

First the villagers gather, either at the local pagoda or sometimes in the village. Monks soon arrive to pray and give thanks to the ancestors for providing the harvest. Then the festival begins. Everyone wears their best clothes. Amplifiers boom out the music and the younger generation dance, often until late at night or even through till the morning.

The next morning, the villagers return, bringing food for the monks. They begin collecting offerings from the new harvest of rice and bringing it to the pagoda. More than 80 per cent of Cambodians rely on farming to survive. The economy is overwhelmingly agriculture based, and a harvest, whether bumper or just sufficient, is a cause for relief and joy. But Darlien is not the time for people to worry about the disappointments of the last season.

The Darlien Ceremony brings the whole village together. The next day follows the same routine, with everything.
Achaa Vorn. But Mr. Chhim Khorn, who is a Director of a primary school in Poun Phnom, was one of those who saw the fun side, too.
It’s also a happy time, a time to relax with friends after the harvest is finished for another year.

Villagers in Cambodia love this time. We always say ‘chab khser khleing prorleng khser kor’ play with your kites and leave the cows. It is the time we have fun between the harvests and starting all over again, planting the rice, in May.

The new season is not far away at all. all sorts of food from samlor (soup) to sweets and cakes are collected at the pagoda or wherever the festival is being held and the villagers sit down together and eat before the festivities re-commence.

Darlien is a celebration giving thanks to nature, rice, soil, rain, water and weather as well as our ancestors and elders and, of course, the lien and the granary that will store our precious harvest.
Professor Hang Soth of the General Department of Cultural Techniques, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, explained.

“The ceremony thanks our ancestors, who have given us everything,” said Achaa Vorn.

But Mr. Chhim Khorn, who is a Director of a primary school in Poun Phnom, was one of those who saw the fun side, too.

It’s also a happy time, a time to relax with friends after the harvest is finished for another year,” he said.
Villagers in Cambodia love this time. We always say ‘chab khser khleing prorleng khser kor’ play with your kites and leave the cows. It is the time we have fun between the harvests and starting all over again, planting the rice, in May.

The new season is not far away at all. This festival is open to all with free entry – offering tastes of different food and local products from different provinces across Cambodia. Not only a variety of local food and products will be ready to be displayed and tasted, but a lot of fun Khmer games such as Choal Chhung, Boh Angkunh, Miss Falls in the Water, …etc, will be brought to audiences to be taken part. More importantly, it also features the scarce and rare shadow performance of ‘Khmer Sbek Thom’, performing in the ancient way at night by using the campfire lit by coconut cells, and a lot more of Khmer precious art performances.

Moreover, the workshop about ‘Khmer Sbek Thom’ and art exhibition will be presented there as well. BONN PHUM is held at Wat Prek Tlerng which locates at the outskirts. We the organizers understand that some of our participants are teenagers and old age people so they are may be difficult to have transportations to get the festival venue.

Therefore, in order to facilitate our audiences with their travel to have fun at BONN PHUM, there will be public buses offered to pick up and to drop visitors from the appointed stations to the festival venue and vice versa with exact schedule for the entire three-day event.

Happening April 8, 9, 10 in Phnom Penh, more information contact 097 780 0420. Map below.

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