Every year, thousands of locals and tourists gather in a paddy field in, Tinh Bien district An Giang Province to watch bull race. The event was organized during the Dolta Traditional Tet. It is a unique sport competition reflecting the traditional culture of the Khmer community in An Giang province in southwestern Vietnam.
This festival takes place as Khmer farmers start planting their autumn-winter crops. The origination of this festival in the local Khmer community’s centuries-old agriculture, when bulls would plough the fields during the rainy season. With time, the race became a traditional event to see who had the best bulls. Buddhist monks served as the organisers of the event and prepared the prizes for the winners.
The Khmer people in Bay Nui area love their bull as city dwellers love their new car! Normally, racing bulls work with their owner in the fields. Near the race, they are allowed to rest and practice. At this time, they enjoy a special care and good food such as young grass, sugarcane, bean sprout, corn, oil cake… When the competition day is coming, racing bulls are also fed with beer, hornet mixed with eggs, bathed clean, and sleep in the mosquito-net at night.
On the racing day, since it is still dark, every family has already waken up and pre-pare beautiful clothes and other necessary to bring along with them. Hamlets become boisterous. When dawn is coming, young, old, male, female people tingle to the bull race-course. The entire Bay Nui area is inundated by the festival atmosphere.
A fierce race.
A Bay Nui bull race features two pairs of bulls competing directly with each other to see which pair can drag a rake through the field the fastest. To win the victory, firstly we have to choose a pair of bulls having good stature and strong legs to easily control, the most important thing being that bull have to be faithful to owners.
The winning bull pairs are awarded. However, money doesn't matter. The first importance thing of the bull-race is bringing the pleasure to compatriot. The winner not only brings the glory to his family, his villages but also to his district.
If tourists in Vietnam travel have chance to visit An Giang province, don't miss to attend this festival and witness the fierce race.