Traditional ceremonies in the Sambor Prei Kuk area
1. Leung Nak Ta ceremony (February)
Although 90% of Cambodians believe in Buddhism, they have never forgotten Hinduism. At Sambor, Buddhism and Hindu beliefs mix. The Leung Nak Ta ceremony is an example.
Leung Nak Ta ceremony is celebrated by the Sambor villagers after harvest. The celebration takes 4 days in February each year. The exact days are determined by the lunar cycle. The purpose of this ceremony is to pray for happiness, luck, and to purge all evil spirits from their commune.
2. Leung Ahrak ceremony (March)
Leung Ahrak ceremony is a Hindu ceremony celebrated since ancient times. Nowadays, people celebrate the Leung Ahrak ceremony every year, usually in March, depending on the lunar cycle.
The purpose of this celebration is to bring healthy and prosperity. In essence, Leung Ahrak is a reincarnation ceremony with music, devotions and offerings such as candles, incense sticks, betel leaves, areca palm, coconut and banana. Local music accompanies the activities.
3. Chrott Preah Nangkoal/ Royal Ploughing ceremony (April or May)
Every year villagers in Sambor village celebrate with a ploughing ceremony. The purpose is to wish for good harvests and happiness for rural families. Exact timing depends on the moon. When the royal oxen chooses to eat from a choice of trays of oats and seeds, grass and water, this is deemed to foretell the future harvest. The Royal Ploughing Ceremony has been observed for many hundreds of years. Traditionally, the ceremony marks the beginning of the wet season in Cambodia.
4. Sen Neak Ta ceremony (February)
Sen Nak Ta ceremony is a local ceremony celebrated in late February after harvest.
The ceremony takes place at an ancestor’s spirit house. There are offerings of banana, dry food, vegetables, fruit, Khmer cake, candles, incense sticks, eggs, betel leaves, areca palm, cigarette, and drinks. The purpose of this ceremony is to bring happiness, well-being and solidarity among local people.
On the day of the ceremony there is a parade which takes Neak Ta (the male spirit) from one place to another in the village. Afterwards, people have lunch together to close the ceremony.