The traditional Vật Cầu Nước or mud ball wrestling festival is an important celebration in Vietnam. It reminds people of their need for weather benefiting the culture of rice. Water and mud are central to this celebration.

In the Van Village, located in the Bac Giang Province, 16 local men play a special type of rugby, with a large ball representing the sun.

The game is played on a muddy field. The goal is to bring the ball back within their own zone, therefore winning the sun. 

"It’s such an honour because not anyone is eligible to participate in the game. Moreover, the game is held every four years. It’s hard at first but I feel very excited," said Xuan Phu, resident in Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province

Duc Tam, another resident in Viet Yen said that the festival is held every four year to pray for favourable weather and bumper crop. He hoped to pass this tradition to the next generation he added.

The 20kg-ball used in the game is made of ironwood. It has been kept in the communal house from generation to generation. According to spirituality, each push of the ball into the pit symbolizes the harmony of the earth and heaven, good weather and bumper harvest.

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 was restored but organized irregularly. Since 2002, according to village regulations, the locality holds the festival in every 4 years./.