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Boat racing festival kicks off tonight

Friday, November 15, 2013, 16:14 GMT+7
Boat racing festival kicks off tonight
The Khmer people's ngo boat races in Soc Trang province

The Khmer boat racing festival in the Mekong Delta, which has expanded in scale compared to previous years, will run from Nov 15 to 17.

The Ngo boat racing festival themed “The moon and rice”, which is Soc Trang province’s hallmark fest, will kick off in ward 8, Soc Trang City, tonight, Nov 15. The event will be broadcast live on VTV2 and provincial channels.

“Ngo” boats are Khmer people’s iconic long, narrow boats, which are richly colored and ornately decorated. 

The competition attracts 61 teams, including 49 male and 12 female ones.

The boat races are part of the Oc Om Boc Festival. The festival, celebrated by the Khmer minority ethnic community in Soc Trang, sends heart-felt thanks to the moon god for bringing in bumper crops and bestowing blessings on all villagers.

Apart from the “ngo” boat races, the festival also features the re-creation of agriculture worship rituals, trade fairs, photo exhibits, folk games, art performances and a festival showcasing culinary delights of Kinh (who makes up the majority of the Vietnamese population), Chinese and Khmer peoples. 

Soc Trang is home to a large Khmer ethnic minority population.

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