Ho Chi Minh City hosted the inaugural Ngo (Khmer) boat race festival on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in District 3 on Sunday in celebration of the upcoming Reunification Day (April 30). Thousands of people gathered to witness the event, which featured colorful boats and a lively atmosphere. The festival is part of the city’s efforts to promote traditional culture and tourism. “It was a great way to celebrate the upcoming national holiday,” said one spectator. “It was really exciting to watch the boats race and to feel the festive atmosphere in the air.”
The District 3 People’s Committee, the organizer of the festival, said that the fest featured nine teams from Ho Chi Minh City and four other localities, including Binh Duong, Tay Ninh, Kien Giang and Binh Phuoc Provinces competing in boat races.
The teams competed on a section of the canal between Cong Ly Bridge and Le Van Sy Bridge.
During the knockout round, these teams were divided into four groups. The winner of each group advanced to the semifinal, where they then competed for the first prize of the race.
Thousands of spectators flocked to both banks of the canal at 6:00 am on Sunday, despite the race not starting until 7:30 am, eager to show their support for the rowers.
Tran Thi Ngat, a teacher at a kindergarten in District 3, shared that she and her family members and friends had come to watch the race with excitement.
“I was absolutely mesmerized when I watched my first ever thrilling NGO boat race,” she exclaimed.
This tournament is becoming more and more exciting as teams battle fiercely to secure victory, leaving supporters on the edge of their seats in anticipation. The competition has become even more thrilling, as each team shows their determination to win.
Visitors from both sides of the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal in District 3 gathered together to cheer on the participants of a boat race. An exciting atmosphere filled the air as onlookers clapped and shouted in support of the rowers.
|Visitors stand on both banks of the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City to support rowers in a boat race, April 23, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The home team in yellow competes fiercely in a Ngo boat race. Spectators cheer from the sidelines as the competitors in their colorful boats speed across the water. The race is a tradition that has been passed down through generations, with the first documented race taking place in the 17th century. The race is both a form of entertainment for the local community and a way to honor the gods.
|The home team in yellow competes in a Ngo boat race on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, April 23, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The festival was held to commemorate the nation’s Reunification Day and Vietnamese Ethnic Groups Culture Day (April 19), according to Vu Thi My Ngoc, Vice-Chairwoman of the District 3 People’s Committee. She highlighted the importance of celebrating the day and encouraged the public to take part in the festivities. Ngoc remarked, “It is essential to celebrate this day, as it is a reminder of the unity and solidarity of our people, and a recognition of our rich cultural heritage.” The event featured a wide range of activities, including traditional folk games and performances, a variety of food stalls, and art exhibitions. It was attended by many members of the local community, who all enjoyed the festive atmosphere.
The festival not only promoted and maintained the cultural values of the Khmer ethnic people in southern Vietnam, but also facilitated cultural exchange amongst ethnic groups and showcased District 3 as a safe and friendly destination for both local and international tourists, according to Ngoc.
Khmer people are known for their strong sense of community and traditional values. They have their own language, culture, and customs that have been passed down through generations.
The Khmer people are one of the largest minority populations in Vietnam. They are mainly concentrated in the southern parts of the country, particularly in the Mekong Delta region. Khmer people are renowned for their strong sense of community and traditional values. Over the generations, they have preserved their own language, culture, and customs.
Rowers of a team demonstrated their strength and determination in a thrilling boat race. The competitors battled against the elements as well as each other to cross the finish line first. Spectators were on the edge of their seats as the race unfolded, with the determination of each team’s rowers evident in their powerful strokes. In the end, one team emerged triumphant, having shown their mettle and earned the admiration of all who watched.
|Rowers of a team show their mettle in a boat race on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, April 23, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Representatives of two teams drew for their turn in a thrilling boat race, as seen in the photo above. The race was a spectacle to behold, with competitors from both teams striving for the win. The tension was palpable, as the teams drew lots to decide who would go first and who would follow. It was a close call, but in the end, the race ended with a victorious finish. It was a thrilling display of sportsmanship, with the competition going down to the wire. The photo captures the moment perfectly, highlighting the excitement of the race.
|Representatives of two teams draw for their turn in a boat race on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, April 23, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A team of competitors can be seen in the photo, participating in a Ngo boat race. The photo was taken by Tuoi Tre and shows the intensity of the race. The competitors are rowing with precision, demonstrating their skills and determination to win the race. The photo captures the excitement and energy of the competition, highlighting the importance of the event.
|A photo shows a team competing in a Ngo boat race on the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, April 23, 2023. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Kha Lang Muong team from Chau Thanh District in Kien Giang Province won the championship in an exciting race, with the Thon Don team from Rach Gia in Kien Giang Province coming in as runner-up. It was a close-fought battle to the finish line, with the Kha Lang Muong team ultimately claiming victory. The photo below shows the winning team celebrating their success.
|The Kha Lang Muong team from Chau Thanh District in Kien Giang Province won the championship. The Thon Don team from Rach Gia in Kien Giang Province finished the race as the runner-up. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Ho Chi Minh City will host spectacular fireworks displays at the Dam Sen Amusement Park in District 11 and the Saigon River Tunnel in Thu Duc City from 9:00 pm to 9:15 pm on April 30th to mark the celebration of Reunification Day and International Workers’ Day on May 1st, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports announced.
Many exciting events will be organized to celebrate the national holiday in Ho Chi Minh City, including traditional incense offering ceremonies in tribute to late State Presidents Ho Chi Minh and Ton Duc Thang, a thrilling bicycle race, and fascinating art performances on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in District 1.
Workers in Vietnam are entitled to a five-day holiday starting from April 29 to May 3 in order to commemorate the Hung Kings’ Commemoration Day (April 29), as well as Reunification Day and International Workers’ Day.