Typical and Unique Cultural Festivals of The Southwest Area
Traveling to the west, tourists certainly can not forget the crisscross rivers and creeks and floating markets with all sorts of goods. Moreover, they will feel the unique cultural traits here through the traditional festivals of the West. In this article, Far East Tour will introduce you to some unique cultural festivals which have features of the Southwest region, so that you can choose the appropriate time for the festive season tourism!
Featured cultural festivals of the Southwest
Cung Dua Festival (Thac Con Festival) – Spiritual Festival of Soc Trang Province
This is a traditional festival Soc Trang Province on February 15th of the lunar calendar every year. It takes place in An Hiep Commune, Chau Thanh District. In the Khmer language, the "thac con" means "drumming gongs". This is one of the ancient stories. Thac Con Festival has the custom of worship the vase made from coconut. Due to this unique feature, people call this "ritual coconut". According to the view of people here, the pure water in the fresh coconut is symbolized for luck and happiness. This is a unique cultural festival of the Southwest region.
If you come here in the festive season, you will understand the cultural beliefs of the people of Soc Trang in particular and the Mekong river basin in general.
Ok Om Bok festival – the largest scaled festival of the Western Area
Ok Om Bok festival is the most expected festival in Khmer. On April 14th and 15th of the lunar calendar, villagers worship the moon in front of their house and then gather at the pagoda for common ceremony. Ok Om Bok, therefore, is also known as "worshiping the moon". Soc Trang people come to Nuoc Ngot Lake while Tra Vinh people gather at Ba Om Pond to attend.
The most unique and attractive part of the Western Ok Om Bok festival is Ghe Go racing. The festival uses as “ghe” – the popular means of transport in the wetland. Ghe which is used for racing is much more characteristic. It is pierced in the body of Sao trees with the appearance like the Nagar snake - Khmer mascot. Nose and drive are curved and can accommodate about 40 rowers. Those rower are carefully selected and usually the region's healthy young men. Ghe ngo racing is a traditional ceremony of the Mekong Delta in order to make the farewell for the water god after crops.
Besides ghe ngo racing, releasing water light is also an indispensable activity in Ok Om Bok festival. If you travel to this cultural area in the festival, you can release paper lanterns with natives and pray for your hopes. Moreover, you can also participate in the cultural space of Khmer by enjoying the sound of musical instruments or typical dances of the Khmer in the Western Area.
Cow racing festival and Dolta Tet in An Giang Province
This is also one of the famous festivals of An Giang Province. It is celebrated every year on the occasion of Dolta Tet. Tet is held from August 29th to September 1st of the lunar calendar, with the idea to remember the merit of parents and ancestors.
During these days, there is a cow racing which is really appealed. It is usually held alternately in Thamit Pagoda. This is a cultural festival holding features of the western area that attracts many tourists. Cow racing festival bears the characteristics of the folk and appeals to both local people and visitors to attend.
Cholchnam Thmay - traditional New Year's Day of Khmer people in the Western Area
Held every year on March 13th, 14th and 15th of the lunar calendar, Cholchnam Thmay ceremony is also known as "age ceremony". This is the period of the Khmer people who have done farm work and should relax and enjoy life. It is nearly identical to the Kinh’s New Year day. In these days, the Khmer people in the western provinces make tet cake, prepare fruits, lights and incenses for Buddhist ceremony. This is also one of the cultural festival bearing unique features of the western region attracting the curiosity of tourists.
Traveling to the western area, besides some typical cultural festivals, you can visit places, landscapes and gardens to enjoy the cuisine here. We have a very detailed information in the following articles:
Cultural festivals which have outstanding features of western area is the display of old customs and traditions of local people. Therefore, it will be really incomplete if you travel without participating in this festival. Festive atmosphere of the attractive and unique western cultural festivals will help you forget the tiredness of the journey to this land. Wish you have the interesting experience in the western cultural tour.