The 2023 Ok Om Bok Festival and “Ngo” Boat Race opens in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on the evening of November 25. (Photo: SGGP)
The Ok Om Bok festival, a moon-worshiping ritual performed by the Khmer ethnic people, will run until November 27 while the traditional “Ngo” boat race is scheduled to take place on November 26-27.
The boat race on the Maspero River sees the participation of nearly 50 teams from southern provinces and cities.
‘Ngo’ boat (Ghe Ngo) is considered a sacred object of the ethnic Khmer people. The special boat is made of wood by artisans and Khmer Buddhist monks. The boat is decorated with images of dragons, tigers, elephants, lions, and peacocks representing the power of the boat. The annual ‘Ngo’ boat race is one of the highlights of the many traditional historical and cultural events of the Khmer ethnic people.
This year's traditional “Ngo” boat race attracts nearly 50 teams. (Photo: SGGP)
Vice Chairwoman of the People's Committee of Soc Trang Province Huynh Thi Diem Ngoc speaks at the event. (Photo: SGGP)
A series of cultural activities, such as Moon Offering Ceremony, a ritual releasing of buoyant paper lanterns into the air and on the river, food fair, photo exhibition, singing contest, trade fair promoting OCOP products, a ceremony offering a record to a painting made of ST rice in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang for the biggest of its kind, and many traditional rituals will be held during the Ok Om Bok Festival.
The Ok Om Bok celebrations, also known as the Khmer Moon Thanksgiving Ceremony, fall on October 15 of the lunar calendar. It is a time for the Khmer to show their gratitude to the Moon Goddess for giving them a bumper harvest and rich aquatic sources.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the recognition of the Ok Om Bok festival as the 4th national intangible cultural heritage in 2014.
At a ceremony offering a record to a painting made of ST rice in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang for the biggest of its kind
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice Chairwoman of the People's Committee of Soc Trang Province Huynh Thi Diem Ngoc, said that the festival is the biggest cultural event of the year and an annual activity featuring cultural identities of the Khmer ethnic people in Soc Trang Province. It is also a chance to introduce the province’s potential and advantages to domestic and foreign businesses and investors who want to seek business and investment opportunities in Soc Trang.