Ox race show draws large crowds in Mekong Delta

By Tam Linh, Phong Vinh   November 30, 2020 | 04:16 pm GMT+7
Ox racing, a distinctive feature of Khmer ethnic culture, attracted 100,000 visitors to an event in An Giang last weekend, helping to bolster the Mekong Delta province's tourism.
On November 28, 8eight pairs of cows participated in the race at Soai Chek Stadium in Tri Ton District. The race is part of the paragliding event Flying on Phung Hoang Son by local authorities in coordination with the Hanoi Paragliding Association to promote this destination and diversify tourism products to attract more visitors.An Giang is famous for Bay Nui Ox Race, part of traditional Sene Dolta Festival held by the local Khmer to commemorate their ancestors, pray for the living and strengthen community bonds. The festival is held annually between Tinh Bien and Tri Ton districts, which neighbor Cambodia, in lunar August and September but due tp the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, this years festival was canceled.

Eight pairs of oxen participated in a race in Soai Chek Stadium of Tri Ton District on Saturday as part of the paragliding event "Flying on Phung Hoang Son". The event was organized by local authorities in coordination with the Hanoi Paragliding Association to promote the destination and diversify local tourism to attract more visitors.
An Giang is famous for Bay Nui Ox Race, part of traditional Sene Dolta Festival held by the local Khmer to commemorate their ancestors, pray for the living, and strengthen community bonds. The festival is held annually between Tinh Bien and Tri Ton districts, which neighbor Cambodia, in lunar August and September. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's event was canceled.

Because the race took place later than every year as Tri Ton entered the dry season from December to May next year, causing the water on the track to rapidly evaporate. Some photographers commented that this year’s bull race was not really eye-catching because when running cows didnt splash much water, making their photos not as good as the previous years.

Because the race took place as Tri Ton entered the dry season from December to May next year, water spanning the track rapidly evaporated. Some photographers commented that this year’s bull race had failed to make a splash as during prior occasions.

Some cows wear rattles on their necks, which are rosewood beads for cattle, meaning good luck. The rope is the reward of the pair of good plows and fast racing.

Some oxen wear rosewood bead necklaces for good luck. Such a necklace is also a reward to pairs of oxen for their good plowing and racing.

In the match, two pairs ran around the 5.5-hectare Soai Chek yard.Many spectators, especially photographers, gathered close to the edge of the track to catch all the dramatic moments when two bull teams sprinted to the finish line.

Oxen compete across a 5.5 ha area in Soai Chek.
Many spectators, especially photographers, gathered close to the edge of the track to catch all the dramatic moments as the animals sprinted toward the finish line.

Spectators event sit under the scorching sun from around 7 a.m. until the race ended around 11 a.m.

Spectators endured the scorching sun from around 7 a.m. until the race ended around 11 a.m.

In addition to the bull race, visitors can also see paragliding performances of nearly 90 pilots from Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City. The pilots departed from Co To, or known as Phung Hoang Son Mountain and flew over Ta Pa rice field  before landing in the bull racing field.Tran Minh Giang, vice chairman of Tri Ton District, said that this was the first time paragliding was held in Tri Ton district and the Mekong Delta region and this sport is suitable for the natural conditions of the district.

In addition to the bull race, visitors also enjoyed paragliding performances featuring nearly 90 gliders from Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Each departed from Co To Mountain, known as Phung Hoang Son Mountain, and flew over Ta Pa rice fields before landing in the bull race field, all in Tri Ton District.
Tran Minh Giang, vice chairman of Tri Ton, said this was the first time paragliding was held in Tri Ton and the Mekong Delta region, well suited to the sport thanks to its natural topography.
Ta Pa fields that stretch to the foot of Co To Mountain are a tourist attraction of An Giang Province. The spot attracts visitors all year round, especially during the rice harvest season from August to early December. Ta Pa is also a spiritual hub with an eponymous Khmer Buddhist temple that offers expansive views of the area.

 
 
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