Ngo boat race (Illustrative photo: VNA)

Kien Giang (VNA) – The 12th culture, sport and tourism festival of the Khmer ethnic people in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is taking place in Go Quao township, Go Quao district from November 21 to 23, attracting thousands of visitors.

The annual festival, which celebrates the Ooc Om Bok (the Khmer festival of worshiping the moon), features Khmer cuisine, sport-culture activities and musical performances.

The traditional Ngo boat race, which reflects unity in Khmer culture, is a highlight of the event. The boats are kept at Khmer pagodas throughout the year in preparation for the race, where they each represents a Khmer village.

Ooc Om Bok is one of three main festivals, along with Sene Dolta and Chol Chnam Thmay, that Khmer people celebrate every year. It has been recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

The event begins around 7-8 pm on the evening of 14th of the 10th lunar month when the moon’s position is high in the sky. Khmer people celebrate at home outdoors or at Khmer pagodas, praying for good luck, happiness, good weather and bumper crops.

There are about 1.3 million Khmer people living in the southern region of Vietnam.-VNA