Making news

Boat race within Ok Om Bok Festival opens in Tra Vinh province

The traditional Ngo (Khmer boat) race in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh opened on November 6 as part of the Ok Om Bok Festival.

The tournament, to last until November 7, brings together eight teams with more than 800 athletes from seven districts and Tra Vinh city, and guest athletes from Rong Giang district in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.

According to Duong Hoang Sum, Director of Tra Vinh’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ok Om Bok Festival was recognised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as national intangible cultural heritage.

The annual boat race attests the strength of solidarity as well as special culture of Khmer people in the southern region and Tra Vinh in particular, he noted.

On this occasion, Tra Vinh has launched a cultural and tourism week and a southern cuisine festival from November 2-8 with an array of art and sport activities.

The Ok Om Bok (moon worshipping) is one of the three main festivals, along with Sene Dolta and Chol Chnam Thmay, that Khmer people celebrate every year. It often takes place around the full-moon period of the 10th lunar month, after the harvest season.

Khmer people believe the moon is a god who controls the weather and crops. The worship aims to thank the moon for granting them good weather and bumper harvests, and to pray for better crops in the following year.

Tra Vinh is home to nearly 330,000 Khmer people who account for 31% of its population./.