In Pictures: Cambodia's wild water festival - Al Jazeera English

In Pictures: Cambodia's wild water festival

After 2010 stampede killed nearly 350 people, festival celebrating the end of the rainy season made a raucous return.

Gareth Bright | | Arts & Culture, Asia Pacific, Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - The Cambodian water festival, known to locals as Bon Om Tuk, saw its long-awaited return to the kingdom of Cambodia's capital last week. The festival had been cancelled for the last three years after a stampede on an overcrowded bridge killed nearly 350 people in 2010.

The water festival is an annual three-day event that takes place in early November to celebrate the end of the rainy season in the Southeast Asian nation. It also marks the reversal of the Tonle Sap River's flow - the only river in the world to reverse directions.

The festival draws crowds in the millions who come to watch daily boat races, and the river and its banks become a hive of activity. Cambodian boat teams, spectators, supporters, street vendors and tourists come from far and wide to enjoy and capitalise on the event.

Although crowd numbers dwindled this year in comparison to previous ones, the festival was welcomed back to Phnom Penh with great joy and enthusiasm by attendees.

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