|“Com dep”, flat glutinous green rice. Photo: Ngoisao.|
Moon worshipping is an important rite in the Ok Oom Bok festival organized on the full-moon day of the 10th lunar month. At night when the moon looks brightest, people begin the ceremony in pagodas, their houses or communal yards. The masters of ceremony are senior and prestigious people in the village. All people look toward the moon and pray. After the ritual, the master of ceremony gives the children a handful of flat glutinous green rice and asks about their wishes for the next year. Finally, they gather to enjoy fruits and flat glutinous green rice, dance, sing, and wish each other a bumper crop.
The Khmer believe that they owe the Jade Emperor and Buddha for giving them rice, which is the main material to make delicious dishes.
At the Ok Oom Bok festival, flat glutinous green rice is sold abundantly for visitors. Sellers also show guests how to make different dishes from young sticky.
The harvest time of young rice to make “com dep” is when the grains look yellowish and taste as sweet as milk. Young rice is processed immediately after being harvested. It needs 4 people to work together to winnow, roast, stir and pound the young rice.
|An earthen pot to roast young rice. Photo: Internet|
|Two people pound the young rice. Photo: Internet|
The annual Ok Oom Bok festival is a chance for visitors to learn something about the Khmer culture and its cuisine.