An Exciting Muddy Match: Gripping Mud Ball Wrestling Festival of Bac Giang

Post by: Admin - Posted at: December 4, 2018

A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước in Vietnamese) was recently held from the 12th to the14th of the fourth lunar month in Van Village, nestled in in Van Ha commune, Viet Yen District of Bac Giang Province.
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
Vật Cầu Nước festival

Gripping Mud Ball Wrestling Festival of Bac Giang promises Spectators An Exciting Muddy Match ! 

This is considered the “unique” festival in Vietnam, attracting many visitors.It is a feature of wet rice culture, showing the desire of farmers for a year of good weather and bumper harvests, and to celebrate an ancient tale of victory over marsh demons
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
The globe, made from ironwood, weighs about 20 kilograms and measures 40 centimeters in diameter.

History of festival

As legend has it, the festival traces its origins to about the 4th or 5th century to celebrates the victory of four brothers – Truong Hong, Truong Hach, Truong Lung and Truong Lay – who defeated a group of demons in a mud ball wrestling match in a Da Trach marsh in the fourth or fifth century . Therefore, the Van villagers open the mud ball wrestling festival (also known as Khanh Ha wrestling festival) with the aim of celebrating the victory.
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
Before competing, wrestlers perform a rite at Van Village Temple
According to the elderly people in Van village, the mud ball wrestling festival existed very long ago, but it was interrupted by war for a long time. After the national unification, this game has been restored but organized unregularly since 2002. The locality holds the festival in every 4 years.
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang

How to play ?

Before the festival, local women carry water from the Cau river and pour the slush into the 200 square metre yard, where 16 unmarried men from two teams will compete for three hours.
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
A woman from Van Village carries mud to be poured into the yard
The game is played between sixteen healthy young men who would have had three days of intensive training beforehand, and must be unmarried – in a show of male strength divided into 2 teams . They try to keep hold of the ball on muddy ground. Before the competition, the men each drink 3 bowls of wine and eat fruit such as watermelon, mango, dragon fruit, and lychee.
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
Each team tries to score a ‘goal’ by carrying a large mud ball with a diameter of 40cm and weighing approximately 20kg made of ironwood- to one end of the muddy pitch. This is also the highlight of this festival
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
The surface is wet and muddy and has 2 holes at either end which players must push the ball into. A half of the game is ended when a team successfully pushes the ball into a hole. When a man grasps the ball, other members of his team do their best to push the ball into the hole Pushing the ball into the hole is not easy on the wet and muddy pitch.
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
The fest draws a big eager crowd
Following traditions, each time the ball is pushed down the hole, it symbolizes a bumper harvest and happy life for the local people.

A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang

The 200 square metre yard crowded the people and tourists come to see and cheer. The mud splashed up all the people who were cheering. Although dirty in the mud, but everyone is happy because they believe it bring them a fortune.
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
Foreigners are also present at the festival

How to get there:

– If you are in another regions, you should catch a flight to Hanoi, and then going to Bac Giang.
– Bac Giang’s transport infrastructure is mainly walking and rail.
– By train: There are two routes running through Bac Giang is : Ha Noi – Dong Dang and Yen Vien – Ha Long, so if you want to get to Bac Giang province by train and send attach motorbikes on train.
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
A mud ball wrestling festival (Vật Cầu Nước ) in Bac Giang
The winning team celebrates their triumphant victory.
These are some photos of a mud ball wrestling festival in Van Village held on 27th of May, 2018. Dirty but funny ^^ , right??
>>> Read more other festivals in Vietnam HERE 
Post by: Admin - Posted at: December 4, 2018

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