The Recovery Of Horse Fight Festival In Northeast Vietnam
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The Recovery Of Horse Fight Festival In Northeast Vietnam

The first horse fighting competition made it's debut in 2013, this strange tournament was held for the first time in the north pole area, the tournament took place at Bang Hanh commune, Bac Quang district, Ha Giang province.

Horse fighting Festival attracted the participation of 30 competition horses , which are considered the finalists as hundreds of horses in mountainous provinces of Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Cao Bang had qualified the preliminary knockouts.

Horse fighting competition in Ha Giang has attracted thousands of visitors in and outside the province , even international visitors to witness , many elderly people and young children are interested in the strange images of the fights. Because prior to the dramatic battles, the horses are very familiar with the daily life of farmers in the highland, on the trips over the mountain, bring goods to markets.

The only difference with other bullfighting festivals in some provinces which are known to many people in Hai Phong , Vinh Phuc is that the buffaloes are slaughtered immediately after the tournament ends despite losing or winning sales were slaughtered immediately after the tournament ends, in the horse fighting competition in Ha Giang the horses will come back to their daili work packing, plowing...

In the horse fighting festival held in Ha Giang in August 2013, the structure of prize includes: One first prize , One second and two third prizes, the winner will gain 25 million Vietnam Dong First Prize. To encourage the spirit of participation, the organizers decided to give cash awards to all horse owners who have horses participating in the contest, and the prize will be increased for the final game.

Horse owners are encouraged by the organizers with big prizes, the audiences were encouraged by the unique performances of or the gladiators in the arena coupled with village commentators, passinating the audiences in the field.

How about the horses, what is the reason to make them so excited and courageous? Only those who are witnessing the gladiator horses opening their mouths biting opponents with teeth or make a rear kick finding the way to defeat opponents see the appeal of each game.

To create a dramatic performances, the organization send the 3rd member in the field to encourage the male horses to display his own martial art, the third party is not human or any other animal but a beautiful female horse the organizers have selected from a ''beauty contest'' before, the appearance of the beautiful "horse girl" on the pitch has made the games more interesting for the winner will have a chance to express feelings with his girlfriend.

Thanks to her motivation, both gladiators want to win, want to express his feelings and thus become more aggressive despite the danger, injury, and even their lives to win. The audiences witness the original tricks of the fighters, although fall rolling on the ground the fighters get up and fight to the end.

While the gladiators fought hard to win the prize for the owner and a special bonus for himself, a lot of audiences in neighboring communes watching every trick, then discuss every moment of the game, there are both young and elderly people. Hoang Van Le, 78 years old said some decades ago in the war against the French and then the American this area was a revolution stronghold, almost all families have horses, the horses were used to transport goods, bring people through the mountain as there were no road" Le continued "there used to be many many horses, in recent years people use motorbike for transportation and they have sold all their horses, it is doubtful if there is any more horse in the commune, the fighting horses today are from other places, not this commune, my family also has a horse, our children wanted to sell him but I refused, as long as I am still here the horse is with me"

Ha Giang province is located in the northeast of Vietnam, it is known that many elderly people in Bang Hanh commune still remember their childhood when every morning they mounted their horses and went to school, at that time only rich families had horse for their children to go to school, it's been decades and the images have faded in the memory of people. A young man in Bang Hanh has another thought "I can not get away from the horse, he helped me a lot in my work, he took me to school when I was little, then he helped carry rice to the markets..."

When the competition came to an end the commentators and audiences all cheered as if to congratulate the winner of the festival, after the quick prize presentation ceremony the horse fighters return to their daily job, see the audiences again next years...

Since the recovery of the horse fighting festival, many visitors go to Ha Giang as part of their Vietnam tours to take part in this unique activity. The organizers believe that in addition to stirring up memories, preserve cultural values in the highland areas of Vietnam, the festival also helps promote and attract tourists to the region.


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