PHNOM PENH, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, accompanied by Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, attended the closing ceremony of the annual Water Festival here on Saturday.
During the ceremony, the king presented awards to the winning teams in the boat races over the Tonle Sap River.
Some 270 dragon boats with about 17,826 rowers joined this year's boat races, according to Bou Chumserey, head of the boat control sub-committee.
The Water Festival is Cambodia's largest annual festival. During the three-day holiday, over 1 million people from across the country took part in the festival, said Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun, a senior national police official in charge of the festival's security and public order sub-committee.
"In sum, the situation of security and public order was good and between 1.3 and 1.5 million people joined the festival," he said in a report.
At the festival, aside from watching the regatta during daytime, visitors enjoyed viewing the procession of well-lighted and decorated floats and fireworks over the Tonle Sap River at night. There were also trade fairs and concerts.
According to history, the Water Festival traced its roots back to the 12th century when Angkorian King Jayvarman VII's navy defeated that of his Cham rivals.
The festival is also a traditional event that marks the end of the rainy season.