Young men show off power at Thuy Linh village’s Vat cau festival

Tuesday, 2017-02-07 17:11:32
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Players compete for the ball during a Vat cau match.
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NDO – The Vat cau (a traditional Vietnamese ball game) festival takes place annually in Linh Nam ward’s Thuy Linh village in Hanoi’s Hoang Mai district on the fourth, fifth and sixth day of the first lunar month. Nhan Dan Online introduces some vibrant pictures of the Thuy Linh Vat cau festival on the occasion of the Lunar New Year 2017.

Three jackfruit balls are used for three different age groups: juniors, under-17 and over-18, weighing 10kg, 20kg and 27kg respectively.

The participants paid tribute to Linh Lang Highest Royal, the fourth son of King Ly Thanh Tong, before the game started. Eight bare-chested wrestlers, wearing coloured belts, were divided into four teams of two. The teams had to use strategies to compete for the ball and bring it back to their respective flag-holes.

The match was conducted by a referee and linesmen who were elder villagers with abundant experience in the sport.

In the beginning of the game, the ball is placed in a big hole in the centre of the field with the four teams standing at the four corners of the field. As the opening whistle sounds, team members compete for the ball to bring it back to their respective corner holes. Each time a team succeeds, they receive one point, also called a “small prize”. The team which scores three consecutive points are named the victors. Each match lasts for 40 minutes.

Players fiercely compete for the 20kg ball.

A player was presented with a “small prize” immediately after he scored one point.

The leading team endeavours to "buy time" before the final whistle.

Members of the remaining teams prevent a player of the other from bringing the ball back to his team hole.

A player scream in joy after placing the ball into his team hole.

The thrill of victory.