Dong's Buffalo Fighting Festival

According to legend, in ancient times, Dong people do not know how to transplant rice seedlings. At one occasion, two buffalo was fighting in the rice field, and trampled all the crops. The master had to remove some rice seedlings from the dense rice field to replant. To their surprise, they had a huge harvest from transplanting. In memory of the skill of transplant, people took two buffaloes to fight. It is the origin of Buffalo Fighting Festival.

Buffalo Fighting Festival is a traditional festival for Dong people. It is celebrated on the "Hai" day of the 2th or the 8th month of lunar calendar every year. Sometimes, the fighting season varies according to some ancient customs and ceremonies. Every village raises the “king of buffalo” for fighting. Before the festival, one can freely select the opponent and make preparation. When the festival day comes, firecrackers will be set off; the "King buffalo" will enter the fighting field. The locals will blow the horn, bang the drum and play the Lusheng (a reed pipe wind instrument). Each team, holding the Pumpkin, axe and the flags, walks around the playground for three times. That is the so called the opening procession of the fighting festival. Then the teams members stay with their bull get ready for the battle. As soon as they hear the sound of firecracker, they will cast a torch forward. The two male water buffaloes are pitted against one another. The fighting is very tension.

Dong's Buffalo Fighting Festival

The winner "king of buffalo" is adorned with red ribbons and gold-painted leaves on their horns. For the loser team, they have to give their colorful flags to the girls of the opponent. If they want to take back the flags, they need to win the antiphonal singing. If, after a long time, it is still hard to judge the winner bull, the team members will use a rope to fasten the bull’s feet, and pull back, just like the tug of war. In this situation, the fighting ends in a tie.

Today, the buffalo fighting festival is still a popular sport among the Dong people. This activity gives a full expression to the Dong people the heroic fighting spirit in the face of hardships and dangers. There are two kinds of buffalo fighting festival: the southern and the northern buffalo fighting festival. Because of the different etiquette between the south and the north, the forms or the rules of fighting are different. If you visit the Dong village at the right time, you may be lucky enough to watch the exciting encounter.


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