Southeast Asian Water Festival In Lowell, MA: Photos, Directions, Information, Parking, Food, Music, Family Fun!

The Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts. The site of the S.E. Asian Water Festival
The Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts. The site of the S.E. Asian Water Festival | Source

2014 Water Festival Schedule

  • Saturday, August 16, 2014


(Map and Directions can be found below)

The Annual Southeast Asian Water Festival

Every year for 14 years now, many people gather along the Merrimack River in Lowell, Ma to celebrate the Annual Southeast Asian Water Festival.

This is a celebration of life, peace and water-the essence of life.

Although all people are celebrated during this festival, the main cultures represented here are Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai.

It is a celebration of peace between the cultures that didn't always have a friendly relationship in their respective demographics.

This is a great time to celebrate with your friends and family! You don't have to be Southeast Asian to attend. All people are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many events that take place during the festival.


Lowell, MA

A markerLowell Heritage State Park Esplanade & Sampas Pavilion 500 Pawtucket Blvd. Lowell, Massachusett -
500 Pawtucket Blvd, Lowell, MA 01854, USA
[get directions]

The site where over 60,000 people from different cultures meet annually on the third Saturday of August for the Southeast Asian Water Festival

Southeast Asian Food Vendors

The smell of BBQ and the sight of smoke rising fills the air as these vendors from as far as New York display their culinary skills.

There are many different kinds of food ranging from BBQ Pork and Chicken to Dried Fish. One of the most noticeable things about Southeast Asian Food are the aroma and colors of the food.

Fried Rice, Chicken, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables among many other dishes are prepared fresh and served. You will have to wait in line for your turn!

It is usually hot so bring lots of water! There is always water for sale and there was even a Church that was giving away free water.

If water is not your thing or if you are looking for a little more flavor, there are many delicious frozen and cold drinks available!

You can try Bubble Tea, a favorite among Southeast Asians, or any of the delicious Frozen Drinks made with Fresh Fruits such as Lemon, Berries, Mangoes, and much more.

Great Food From Different Southeast Asian Cultures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

The People

As you stroll down the path along the beautiful Merrimack River, there are thousands of people everywhere.

You will see people shopping and browsing the vendor's booths, people sitting in the shade, families eating delicious foods, performances from traditional musicians and dancers, and much more.

There are so many people you would think that there would be problems. In spite of the thousands of people in attendance, there are very few problems and rarely any violence.

This is mainly because of the heavy police presence including anti-gang officers walking around to ensure that rival gangs keep the peace. It is very effective!

Although there are no photos of individual police officers to protect their safety and privacy, rest assured there is always an officer or ambulance within a stone's throw. You will feel very safe while walking around at the Festival!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Safety Measures and Crowd Control

Source
Source
Source

The Vendors

There is a lot more than just food to look at and purchase at the festival! There are hundreds of vendors, many of them non-profit or charitable in nature.

There are clothes, jewelry, arts and crafts, paintings, instruments, toys, games and much much more for you to enjoy!

There are religious booths including Christian and Buddhist alike, offering prayers, literature, and many free gifts, as well as accepting donations for their cause.

There are bands and various performances taking place on the main stage, traditional music and Christian Music spaced perfectly throughout the venue.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Greater New England www.newenglandbuddhist.org for more information.
Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Greater New England www.newenglandbuddhist.org for more information.
Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Greater New England www.newenglandbuddhist.org for more information. | Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

The Boat Races

One of the major attractions in the Festival is the Boat Races. These races are held annually in Cambodia during the November Water Festival and are a core element of the Festival.

The boats are long and are hand-made. The teams consist of 18-24 rowers including the Team Captain who uses a whistle to keep cadence, a Steerer to maintain course, and a Drummer to maintain the rhythm. You can hear the rowers yelling in cadence to keep the pace and flow of the race.

The race is 1000 meters which is the equivalent of nearly 10 football fields and 2 teams race against each other for the title. The team members wear life preservers and there are support boats with trained lifeguards that follow close to the boats should something happen. You can hear the people cheering for their team as the boats take off!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Capsized Boat!Capsized Boat!
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Capsized Boat!
Capsized Boat! | Source
Capsized Boat!
Capsized Boat! | Source

Will You Be Attending The Water Festival This Year?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
See results without voting

So if you missed it this year make sure to write it on your calander for next year! The venue never changes and the Festival is always held on the third Saturday of August.

Bring your camera, your appetite and a blanket and Celebrate with us! There is plenty of paid parking available and the location is just minutes from Rt. 495. Check the map above for directions. Hope to see you there!

Traditional Southeast Asian Instrumental Music

More by this Author


Comments 34 comments

Jasdeep Singh profile image

Jasdeep Singh 5 years ago from Chandigarh

Great pictures but pic no 28 is amazing ... all flags together promoting a feeling of world peace and unity somewhere in the viewers mind when clicking through.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I totally agree Jasdeep! The best part of the festival is the gathering of so many people sharing and getting along. I appreciate your comment and I am now following you!

JSMatthew~


chanroth profile image

chanroth 5 years ago from California, USA

Wow! Wonderful! lol...looks like Khmer New Year. Water Festival is fun too! you wrote: "This is a celebration of life, peace and water-the essence of life." you are absolutely correct! These are the quote that I love the most out of your article! Looking at those picture...FOOOOD.....YUMMY!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks Chan! We had a great time and it was amazing. The food was great, the people were nice and the weather was perfect! Thanks for your comment!

Phu JSMatthew~


chanroth profile image

chanroth 5 years ago from California, USA

I'm so happy that you and your family had a great time. ^_^ Many Bless! *CHEER!*


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks Chan!

JSMatthew~


VENZKHVAM profile image

VENZKHVAM 5 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

NICE JOURNEY OF PICTURES EXHIBITING THE ASIAN CULTURE , YES THE FOOD TOO IS MAKING MY MOUTH WATERY. NICE HUB DEAR KEEP IT UP


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Terrific hub, I really enjoyed it. You established a great feeling right in the beginning and followed through with it. I'd like to attend but am too late for this year!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I appreciate your comment VENZKHVAM! Sorry to make you hungry! Be sure to check out my Recipes from Cambodia and Southeast Asia as I write them in a series! You can start here: http://hubpages.com/food/Khmer-Curry-Recipes...

That should get your taste buds craving!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Paradise7: There's always next year! It would be great to meat some fellow Hubbers at a venue like this! Thanks for commenting!

JSMatthew~


Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

As an arm traveler I love to read about different countries and cultures. This is wonderful hub. Someday I will travel to Cambodia because I want to see with my eyes the beautiful cultural heritage.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I will be going someday-probably within 5 years. Wouldn't it be cool if we met up there Binaya? The only thing is it is a 23 hour flight from where I live and I hate to fly! I appreciate your comment!

JSMatthew~


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

J.S.-great article. Reading about the food, and your description, make the smell almost tangible. For a moment, I thought I smelled it. I really do like how the event promotes peace among the peoples of that region. Too bad that it's such a long drive from Texas...


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks homesteadbound! It smelled awesome while I was there. I ate a little here and there. Look online, maybe you'll find a festival like this in your neck of the woods! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


oballesansano 5 years ago

J.S.- The photos are really awesome, as if I was there, not to mention the Asian foods that makes me hungry now :)


Farmer Brown profile image

Farmer Brown 5 years ago

Love the hub! Posting on Digg : )


Xkom 5 years ago

Great pictures J.S.Matthew. You always have a way of bringing out the best in your hubs. Please lets see more!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

What a wonderful, interesting hub, really enjoyed the fabulous photos, sounds as though you had a great time, thanks for sharing.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@oballesansano: I am sorry for making you hungry! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Farmer Brown: I appreciate you sharing on Digg! Thanks for reading and commenting!

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Xkom: I appreciate that comment! I promise to continue posting more Hubs! Stay tuned for more Recipe Hubs that I will be adding to my series on Cambodian Cooking! Thanks again.

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Movie Master: I am glad that you enjoyed the photos. They were all taken on my Motorola Droid phone! We had a great time. Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


shanaya profile image

shanaya 5 years ago from Living in my Own Dreams:)

Hello Sir J.S.Matthew! It's an AMAZING & Beautiful Journey. It's like I was there too. WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHY as well. Great HUB. Thanks for sharing.:)

VOTED UP, INTERESTING, USEFUL, AWESOME.

With Respect

From SHANAYA:)


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello shanaya! I appreciate your awesome comment and for all the votes! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~


Hunbbel Meer profile image

Hunbbel Meer 5 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

Great hub. Adore your efforts. Voted up beautiful and awesome :) Keep up the good work :)


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I appreciate that Hunbbel! Thanks for the awesome comment!

JSMatthew~


LuxmiH profile image

LuxmiH 5 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

great article...as usual...coincidently i have a dear friend who has been extremely involved with this very same event while she was with Lowell University. I will send her your Hub. I am sure she will be delighted.


breete01 profile image

breete01 5 years ago from Huntington, IN

Amazing article. Very informative.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@LuxmiH: That's so awesome to share this with your friend. When I created this article I was trying to make it better than any other article on this event in the search engines. The #1 article on Google when searching "Southeast Asian Water Festival Lowell, MA" is the article from the organization that hosts it. I hope that by next year, this article will replace it! Thanks for sharing and commenting! I appreciate all the comments that you leave on my Hubs.

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@breete01: You leave many comments on my Hubs and I appreciate that. You will be a rising star on HubPages, that I am sure of! Thanks for stopping by once again!

JSMatthew~


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

I have not made this festival yet, after 6 years wondering around Asia .. however, it is now on my to-do list. The way you described the festival and the photos really brought it alive for the reader.

I also like the Thai festival 'Songkran' or commonly known as the water festival ... which turns into a 2-6 day country wide water fight! Slightly insane, but fantastic fun in the sun.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I have seen pictures of that festival. It looked very muddy! I can't wait until I can travel to Asia! Thanks for the comment Brett.

JSMatthew~


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi J.S.

I am all for festivals that promote peace and goodwill.

Voted up and away.

Happy New Year!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Sueswan! Happy New Year to you and yours as well! I always appreciate your comments! Thanks for the votes and for stopping by!

JSMatthew~

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working