The traditional boat racing festival on Kiến Giang River in Lệ Thủy District, Quảng Bình Province is held annually on the National Day on September 2. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồ Cầu
QUẢNG BÌNH — The Ma Coong ethnic minority group’s drum beating festival and traditional boat racing on Kiến Giang River in the central province of Quảng Bình have been officially recognised as national intangible cultural heritages by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The ministry has also requested provincial administrators and relevant organisations properly manage the new national heritages according to the law.
According to Nguyễn Mậu Nam, vice director of Quảng Bình Province’s Department of Culture and Sports, the events' recognition would help promote local tourism.
“These two new intangible cultural heritages will contribute to confirming that the land and ethnic minorities of Quảng Bình Province are still preserving many original cultural values that are closely associated with manufacturing and daily activities," he said. "The recognition will also create opportunities to promote and introduce the heritages of the province to international friends."
The traditional boat racing festival on Kiến Giang River in Lệ Thủy District is held annually to encourage exercise, welcome a new flood season and wish for favourable weather conditions and bumper crops.
After the success of the August Revolution of 1945, the festival has been celebrated in tandem with the National Day on September 2.
The drum beating festival of the Ma Coong ethnic minority group in Thượng Trạch Commune calls for good weather conditions, productive crops and peace. — Photo phongnhaexplorer.com
The drum beating festival of the Ma Coong ethnic minority group in Thượng Trạch Commune takes place on the 16th day of the first lunar month.
The festive event also involves praying for good weather conditions, productive crops and peaceful life. It also offers a chance for local young people to meet and get to know each other.
When night falls and the moon rises, the village chief recites the prayers. As soon as the spiritual ceremony ends, the youth start to beat a drum hard and fast until it is broken in the early morning. The villagers then gather to enjoy the wine together, while others will go into the forest to talk or confess their love.
The drum beating festival is considered the biggest event of the year for the Ma Coong people, showcasing the fertility beliefs in the group's communal activities.
Two other practices of Quảng Bình Province have previously been granted national recognition: Lệ Thủy chanting and the fish-worshipping festival. — VNS