Ooc-om-bok Festival

Time: In the evening of the 14th day and the 15th day of the tenth lunar month. 
Place: In the yards of the pagodas or of the residents' houses, ngo boat race in the Maspero River (Soc Trang City).
Objects of worship: Moon deity. 
Characteristics: Moon worshipping ceremony, floating lights on the water, ngo boat race.
Participators: The Khmer people in the South, the Hoa and the Viet people.

Ooc-Om-Bok Festival is a religious service that worships the moon deity of the Khmer minority group and prays for good luck, happiness, good weather and bumper crops. The festival is usually held when the dry season begins and rice are ripening on the fields.

The Moon-worshipping ceremony takes place on the evening of 
14th of tenth lunar month before the moon goes to the top. The ceremony is held in the yards of the pagoda or of residents' houses. People erect bamboo poles with a crossbar on which they decorate with flowers and leaves. Below is a table of offerings that include green rice flakes, potatoes, bananas, coconuts, grapefruits, oranges and cakes. People sit on the ground with crossed legs, clasping their hands before the altar and look up the Moon. An old master of ceremonies says his prayers, asks the moon deity to receive the offerings and bless people with the best.

 


After the ceremony, the elders ask the children of the house sit flatly on the ground with crossed legs before the altar. The elders then take a handful of green rice, feed each child and ask them what they wish while clapping their backs. If the children answer the question clearly and politely, all the best will come to them that year. After that, people enjoy the offerings together, and children play games or dance and sing in the moonlight. Anyone who visits the Khmer's houses on this occasion will be tasted com dep (a kind of young sticky rice). At the pagodas of Khmer people, locals hold paper-lantern releasing into the sky and putting on the rivers. The custom of releasing flying lights and floating lights is believed to sweep away the darkness, impure and sadness from the village. Many traditional activities of the Khmer are organised on the evening of 14th.

NEARBY DESTINATIONS
WHERE TO STAY
Khanh Hung Hotel

Add: 17 Tran Hung Dao St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3821 026/ 3821 027

Phu Qui Hotel

Add: 19-21 Phan Chu Trinh St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3611 911/ 3611 811

Que Huong Hotel

Add: 128 Nguyen Trung Truc St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3616 615/ 3616 617

Phong Lan 1 Hotel

Add: 136 Dong Khoi St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3821 619/ 3824 229

Phong Lan 2 Hotel

Add: 133 Nguyen Chi Thanh St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3821 757

Cong Doan Guest House

Add: 04 Tran Van Sac St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3826 984

Thanh Nhan Hotel

Add: 479 Highway No.1, Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3619 619

Bao Ngoc Hotel

Add: 1 Highway No.1, Kim Xang St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3616222

Hong Cuc Hotel

Add: 84B Group 3, Hightway 1, Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3621 803

Ngoc Lan Hotel

Add: 182 Le Hong Phong St., Soc Trang city

Tel: (84-299) 3622 696

Net Viet Hotel

Add: 172 Truong Cong Dinh St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3624 510/ 3614 510

Tien Dinh Hotel

Add: 256, D15 Residence zone Hung Thinh, Ward 7, Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3623 016

WHERE TO EAT
Hung I Restaurant

Add: 28/48 Hung Vuong St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3824 376

Khanh Hung Restaurant

Add: 17 Tran Hung Dao St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3821 027

Phong Lan 1 Restaurant

Add: 124 Dong Khoi St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3821 619

Phong Lan 2 Restaurant

Add: 133 Nguyen Chi Thanh St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3821 757

Thien Truc Restaurant

Add: 2 Hung Vuong St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3610 831

Thanh Thao Restaurant

Add: 204 Phu Loi St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3611 119

Hang Ky Restaurant

Add: 67 Yet Kieu St., Soc Trang City

Tel: (84-299) 3820 034