06:00 | 24/10/2020 Culture & Tourism
(VEN) - The traditional Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival takes place annually on the 9th day of the 8th lunar month in the coastal town of Do Son in the northern coastal city of Hai Phong.
The festival is not only associated with Water Goddess worshiping and sacrificing customs but expresses bravery, chivalry, and the risk-taking spirit of local people.
The festival derives from the belief of Do Son residents that the local guardian gods like buffalo fighting and hence the practice ensures safe travel, abundant crops as well as prosperity and happiness. The festival has been held in the region since the 18th century.
Like other folk festivals in Vietnam, the Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival includes two parts- spiritual rites and entertainment.
Before the fight, dozens of men and women dance with flags, beat drums and cheer. The buffalos are then led to the stage and proceed to fight in pairs.
They use their strength to butt each other and lock horns to the resounding cheers of local residents and tourists. The winning buffalo is killed in a ceremony worshipping the Water Goddess.
The fighting buffaloes must meet a wide range of requirements. They must be at least four or five years old, have a wide chest, bow-shaped horns, toned thighs, and a long tail. The owners spend a large amount of money and time locating suitable animals from Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Malaysia, among others.
The Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival was recognized as one of 15 official national festivals in 2000 and a national intangible cultural heritage in 2012.