Vietnam’s mud ball wrestling a unique world tradition

Update: 14:52 | 18/09/2018

An ancient wrestling ritual in north Vietnam is one of the world’s most extraordinary traditions, the National Geographic reports.

Vietnam, mud ball wrestling, unique world tradition, most extraordinary traditions, National Geographic, Van village, Bac Giang province

Young men compete in a marsh to grasp the ball during the three-day festival at Van Village in Bac Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

The ball wrestling festival at Van village, in the northern province of Bac Giang's Viet Yen District, is held from the 12th to the 14th of the fourth lunar month every four years.

It commemorates the victory of four brothers - Truong Hong, Truong Hach, Truong Lung and Truong Lay – over a bunch of demons in a mud-ball wrestling match in a marsh in the 4th century CE.

The festival features ancient rituals and spiritual beliefs of wet rice civilizations, with local farmers praying for bumper crops and good weather for the rice season.

Vietnam, mud ball wrestling, unique world tradition, most extraordinary traditions, National Geographic, Van village, Bac Giang province

The 20kg ball used in the game is made of ironwood. It has been kept in the communal house from generation to generation. According to spirituality, each push of the ball into the pit symbolizes the harmony of the earth and heaven, good weather and bumper harvest.

“Reenacting the soldiers who served a village's protecting gods, these men wrestle with a wooden ball in a centuries-old festival,” Natgeo describes.

The Natgeo list includes cultural festivals and “unique” rituals such as the UNESCO-recognized castell festivals in Spain, the Bun Bang Fai festival in Laos, the grueling “Gochak” ritual in India, the traditional Chinese martial art of taiji, and the Arirang Mass Games in North Korea.

 

Go to Van village to see mud ball wrestling festival
(BGO) – The mud ball wrestling festival of Yen Vien village (or Van village), in Van Ha commune, Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province opened on May 26 (the 12th day of the fourth lunar month). The festival, which takes place in three days (from May 26 to 28), is a feature of wet rice culture, showing the desire of farmers for a year of good weather and bumper harvests. This is considered the "unique" festival in Vietnam, attracting many visitors.
 

Source: VnExpress

 
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