Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage

A horse racing event in Bac Ha district in northern mountainous Lao Cai province is among 10 newly-recognised national intangible heritages.
June 04, 2021 | 15:20
Early ripening peach season on Bac Ha plateau Early ripening peach season on Bac Ha plateau
Plum blossoms season in Bac Ha White Plateau Plum blossoms season in Bac Ha White Plateau
White plum flowers bloom in Bac Ha valley White plum flowers bloom in Bac Ha valley
Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
A horse race in Bac Ha District Stadium. Photo: VNA

Traditional horse racing in Bac Ha district in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai is among 10 newly recognised as "national intangible heritage" by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Nine others in the list of cultural heritage include a festival of the Ba Na ethnic minority in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum; a festival held in Dai Dong commune in Vinh Tuong district, northern Vinh Phuc province; and lace knitting in Thanh Ha commune, Thanh Liem district in Ha Nam province, cited Vietnamnews.

Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
Bac Ha and Lao Cai traditional horse racing tournaments are one of the special cultural and sports activities of the ethnic minorities in Bac Ha district in particular and the Northwest highlands in general. Photo: VNP
Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
Bac Ha horses are considered the most beautiful breed in Vietnam. Photo: VNA 

The race was held every spring at the foot of Ba Me Con Mount.

It resumed in 2007 after stopping for a long period, with the aim of conserving and developing traditional cultural values and promoting the region’s image among visitors at home and abroad.

Bac Ha horses are considered the most beautiful breed in Vietnam.

Lao Cai has two other heritages on the new list, including the traditional costume of the Nung Din ethnic group in Muong Khuong district and that of the Mong Hoa people in Bac Ha district, reported Vietnamplus.

Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
Horse racers are striving to head towards the finish. Photo: VNA
Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
Photo: VNA
Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
Hoang Thi Tuyet, a young Tay ethnic woman from Ta Ho village, Ta Chai commune, Bac Ha district became the first female jockey to compete at the Bac Ha Horse Race. Photo: VNP

Others include two festivals in Hanoi and a whale worshiping festival in Cam Xuyen district in central Ha Tinh province.

The capital city of Hanoi contributed two events to the list, the traditional festivals in Bac Tu Liem and Nam Tu Liem districts.

Fish sauce production in the island city of Phu Quoc, Kien Giang province, and a whale worshipping festival in Cam Xuyen district, the central province of Ha Tinh also received the recognition.

Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
Photo: VNP
Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
Photo: VNP
Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
Bac Ha Horse Race. Photo: VNP
Bac Ha traditional horse race recognised as national intangible heritage
A big crowd around the stadium, cheering and betting for all riders. Photo: VNP

Bac Ha and Lao Cai traditional horse racing tournaments are one of the special cultural and sports activities of the ethnic minorities in Bac Ha district in particular and the Northwest highlands in general. Since ancient times, Bac Ha people organized horse racing. Over a long period of hiatus, starting in 2007 the Horse Racing is held annually.

The charm of the horse race in Bac Ha is that this is not a race of professional athletes but a race of farmers and racehorses. On the day of the race, the peasants and the horses temporarily left the fields to go to the racetrack. Moreover, horse riders riding on horseback with no saddle, no foot pedal and only a tie, two iron hooks tied to the rope on both sides of the jaw to control. That is a special thing that impresses visitors. Whether it is sunny or rainy, visitors and people in the area never want to miss this unique horse race in Vietnam.

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