Legend Relates to Rain Asking Ceremony
Rain is essential for all living beings on earth. Throughout drying season, people tried to water their crops with water, but the plants couldn’t growing at their best like being watering by rain. Thus, if there is any year which rain is lack, people prepare a ritual to ask for enough rain. Because lack of rain can cause two main disasters: starvation and sickness. Rain asking ceremony has become a tradition for Khmer people since their ancestors and has always remained in generations until now.
A regend which is the first cause of rain asking ceremony goes that:
There was a life of Lord Buddha which was born as a Fish (Trei Rors) living in a srah (pond) in Vosaborei. And during that time, it wasn’t rain at all, after a long period of time without rain, ponds and lakes became dried. The pond which the Fish Lord living also remain only mud. Many kinds of birds like vulture, heron, came down to enjoy fishes as their foods everyday. The Fish Lord suggested other fishes to hide themselves in the thick mud in order to be survive. One day they had a meeting, the Fish Lord said: “Since we were born as fishes, we had never commit any sin or caused any trouble to anyone, why should we bear this kind of suffering?” Finished his words, the Fish Lord started his praying to heaven.
Suddenly, a miracle has happened, his praying was heard by the King of Heaven. He ordered one of his princes to make a big rain that could fill all the dried ponds and lakes full with water again. The Fish Lord and other fishes has survived.
According to the legend above, every time it has no rain, Khmer people always prepare a praying ritual to ask for rain. Monks were invited to participate the ceremony by chanting the Dharma. People dig a small pond and release a fish (trei rors) in it to represent the Fish Lord. Then everyone make praying. In the belief, the praying might have affection that the tradition still being alive.
On the Moon Praying ceremony of the full moon night of the 12th lunar month, there is a rain falling prediction ceremony. 24 big candles were lighting to represent 24 provinces of Cambodia. After the praying ceremony, depend on the result of each candle dripped down, the royal astrologer predict the rain fall for each province in the coming year. The prediction is useful for farmers to plant suitable crops and get ready for various solution if the rain fall is too much or too lack.