The two districts of Tinh Bien and Tri Ton in An Giang Province, located in Vietnam's Mekong Delta region, organized two ox races on Sunday to select racers for the Bay Nui race at the end of this month.
Bay Nui (Seven Mountains) is a range of small mountains spreading over An Giang’s four districts of Chau Doc, Tinh Bien, Tri Ton, and Thoai Son, near the border with Cambodia.
The oxen on Sunday competed in pairs and each pair was ridden by a jockey who stood on a harrow.
The race at the Ta Pa - Soai Chek Sports and Tourism Area in Tri Ton gathered 25 pairs of oxen from eight local communes and towns.
It also attracted thousands of spectators.
|Jockeys get an ox back after it ran off the track during a race in Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province, Vietnam, September 18, 2022. Photo: Minh Khang / Tuoi Tre|
|Authorities reward the winners at an ox race in Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province, Vietnam, September 18, 2022. Photo: Minh Khang / Tuoi Tre|
Meanwhile, the race at Ro Pagoda in Tinh Bien District was also associated with rice transplanting as a traditional custom of Khmer people, in celebration of the Sen Dolta Festival, which will take place from September 24 to 26.
Since 2016, the Sen Dolta Festival at Ro Pagoda has become a big event for photographers across Vietnam to gather and take photos of the ox racing.
The Bay Nui ox race will kick off on September 24 in Vinh Trung Commune in An Giang, with 64 pairs of oxen in competition, according to the local An Giang newspaper.
The event is said to promote cultural identity, celebrate Khmer people’s Sen Dolta Festival, and promote the Bay Nui ox race to domestic and international visitors.
The annual race was halted for two years due to COVID-19 before it was resumed this year.