Vietnam’s Independence Day on September 2 annually holds a boat race on Tam Giang Lagoon in Thua Thien-Hue Province.
The event, organised by people in Vinh Hien Commune, Phu Loc District, is a vivid example of local cultural life.
Vinh Hien Commune is located on the area of the Tam Giang-Cau Hai Lagoon which runs to the Tu Dung Estuary.
The Tam Giang-Cau Hai Lagoon covers 21,600ha and is home to 230 fish species, 63 benthos, 43 kinds of seaweed, 70 bird varieties and many other kinds of sea creatures. It is the largest and the most diverse lagoons in Southeast Asia.
Most of people in Vinh Hien Commune live off fishing and aquaculture. The annual boat race is aimed to wish for favourable weather, peace and wealth, good crops and catches.
The boat course runs some 700 metres. Before leaving the departure point or after reaching the finish, each boat has to move around a bamboo stick put under the middle of the race route. The stick is about 30 metres from the departure point.
Boats from the competitor’s families line the race route. A number of households sell confectionery, food and drink, creating an atmosphere similar to a floating market.