PSNews – As part of the traditional Ooc Om Boc Festival of Khmer people, the Ngo boat race officially kicked off on November 11 in Go Quao town, Go Quao District, Kien Giang Province.
According to Mr. Ngo Hung, Vice Chairman of the Kien Giang Provincial People’s Committee, Deputy Head of the Festival Organizing Committee, this year's race drew the participation of 59 teams, with 5,000 athletes from Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long and the host Soc Trang.
There are 12 women’s boat race teams and 47 men’s boat race teams. After the opening ceremony, all race teams officially entered the qualifying round.
Tens of thousands of people have gathered on the banks of the Cai Lon River from very early to watch and support the race. The final round and the awarding ceremony took place on November 12’s morning.
Ooc Om Bok is one of three main festivals, along with Sene Dolta and Chol Chnam Thmay which the Khmer people celebrate every year. It has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
The festival, also called the Festival of Moon Worship, begins around 7-8 pm on the evening of the 14th day of the 10th lunar month when the moon’s position is high in the sky. Khmer people celebrate outdoors or at Khmer pagodas, praying for good luck, happiness, good weather, and bumper crops.
This year's Ooc Om Bok festival also consists of various events, such as the trade fair and exhibition of traditional craft villages, bicycle race, men’s tennis tournament, and women’s beach volleyball tournament, among others. By An Nhien