Phnom Penh, 575 Years Younger
The 2010 Cambodian Year Began in Wat Phnom
The Municipality of Phnom Penh opened the celebrations of the 575th Anniversary of the foundation of the city in Wat Phnom, the Sacred Hill hold to be the historical spot that gave name and identity to the Cambodian capital. With a trade fair, music concerts and fireworks on December 30 and 31, the city administration welcomed the new year with the assistance of several personalities, among them more than one thousand officials from the nine districts of the capital, students, locals and visitors.
The trade fair in Wat Phnom was also an event that displayed 100 exhibition booths of products made in Cambodia, while the visitors received a booklet entitled Phnom Penh, writen in Khmer and English and portraying the history of the city, from legends to drammas and progress.
According to the legend, in 1372 Penh, an elderly woman, found in the waters of the Meckong River five statues of Buddha, one in stone and four in bronze, inside a floating Koki tree. She ordered the construction of a temple on a 27 metres high hill that received her name, Wat Phnom (The Temple of Grandmother Penh). From this the name of what was to be the capital of modern Cambodia, Phnom Penh (The Hill of Grandmother Penh).