By Suzanne Flores
During our honeymoon in Cambodia, my husband and I had the rare opportunity to experience a traditional Cambodian Buddhist water blessing, a sacred ritual for cleansing and good luck that dates back to ancient times.
While the ceremony is not exclusively meant for newlyweds, it’s an ideal experience for honeymooners seeking a unique and “out-of-the-box” way to bless this important commitment…as long as being splashed with (a lot of) water is not a deal breaker!
For our ceremony, my husband and I traveled by tuk tuk from our hotel to a traditional pagoda in the Cambodian countryside just outside of Siem Reap. When we arrived we were greeted by the Buddhist monk who would perform the ceremony. He was standing next to a giant urn of water (which made me begin to wonder just how much water was involved in this ceremony). We traded our clothes for traditional sarongs and settled ourselves in front of the monk on the pagoda steps.
As the monk began to chant, water was suddenly poured and splashed over our heads. It kept coming, and coming and COMING! Being a bit hot and humid that day, it was actually somewhat refreshing and in-between splashes I kept silent by reminding myself of all of that good luck coming our way.
At the end of the blessing, we had a chance to dry off and the monk adorned each of our wrists with special red ties that signify the blessing had been performed.
If you are traveling on the Aqua Mekong soon and will be embarking or disembarking in Siem Reap, ask about arranging this Buddhist water blessing ceremony – it is a unique experience that you will never forget, ideal for newlyweds but also for anybody celebrating a special event or looking for a little extra blessings and good luck.
P.S. For those that prefer a more mellow experience, another option is available where monks chant blessings with just a light sprinkling of water. Enjoy!