|Wacky races: Pairs of oxen compete in a race in southwestern An Giang Province as part of the annual Sene Dolta festival of the Khmer people. — VNS Photo Le Hoang Vu
CAN THO (VNS) — Thirty seven pairs of oxen from 14 communes in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang competed at this year's Bay Nui Ox Race.
The race was held at Ro Pagoda in Tinh Bien District's An Cu Commune on Saturday.
Chau Soc Khonk, chief monk of Ro Pagoda, said the Khmer community organises the ox race every year during their traditional Sene Dolta festival.
After a one-day competition, the pair of oxen owned by farmer Duong Vinh Hiep from Vinh Trung Commune won first prize.
The Sene Dolta is one of the most important annual festivals of the Khmer community in the southwest region, along with Chol Chnam Thmay (New Year) and Ooc Oom Bok, a festival thanking the moon for a good harvest.
The festival is held from the 30th day of the eighth lunar month until the second day of the ninth lunar month each year. It fell on October 12-14 this year.
During the event, the Khmer people pay tribute to their ancestors and take part in activities with traditional songs and dance after a hard-working year.
About 400 Khmer people in Tra Vinh Province attended a get-together on October 10 to celebrate the festival.
According to Tra Vinh's Committee for Ethnic Affairs, the local government over the last several years has provided assistance to ethnic Khmer for farming activities, reducing their poverty rate by 4 percent.
With VND46.8 billion (US$2.1 million) allocated to Tra Vinh from the Government's poverty reduction programme this year, the province has built or repaired 71 infrastructure works serving Khmer production activities. — VNS