Ceremonies, Rituals, and Festivals
Cambodia: Spirits of the Rice Fields
Although most Cambodians are Buddhists, farmers still practice forms of folk religion—which
is filled with supernatural beings and magical rituals—and believe in its
In some rural villages, people believe Yiey Tep stays in the rice fields. Rice farmers show their respect to these spirits by praying and offering food. (Her favorite offering is sweet rice porridge. Ariak, on the other hand, likes bananas and music.) Ignoring Yiey Tep will lead to illness or a life doomed to failure—just like Ariak.
Although today’s rice farmers still offer food at the corners of their fields, they are very much open to modern innovations.