Showing posts with label Buddha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buddha. Show all posts

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Vietnam - Tourists revel in rich Khmer culture

If you visit in mid-November to mid-December, the Ok Om Bok Festival, also called the Festival of Worshipping the Moon, takes place at the Ba Om Pond relic site.

Kim Ngọc Thái, deputy chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, said that the Ok Om Bok is one of the main traditional Khmer festivals in the south besides the Sene Dolta and Chol Chnam Thmay festivals.

The joyful and festive Ok Om Bok event has been recognised as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Vietnamese government.

The one-week festival includes cultural and sports events, trade fairs offering local specialties, traditional competitions such as tug-of-war and crossing of bamboo bridges, and a souvenir design contest.

But the standout activity is the exciting and colourful Ghe Ngo (Khmer boat) race on Bà Ôm Pond (which is actually as big as a lake)

Six rowing teams with nearly 400 athletes from different districts and cities in the province compete in a race that is seen as both a way to express solidarity and a traditional ritual to see off the God of Water to the ocean after the growing season.
The Khmer believe that the Buddha blesses and protects them, so followers donate time, money and effort to build pagodas in their hamlets.

More than one million Khmer live in southern Việt Nam, which has a total of 600 Khmer pagodas. Some of them have existed for several centuries and have been recognised as national architectural relics, including the pagodas of Ang, Mẹt, Hang and Dơi.

The pagodas are always built on large areas surrounded by Dầu (Dipterocarpus alatus) trees, Palmyra palms or green cajuput forests.

A panoramic view of a typical Khmer pagoda includes a monastery, gate, fence, wall, main chamber, towers containing the ashes of dead monks, and the Sala, the place where monks and the Khmer gather to prepare for important ceremonies.
The main chamber of the Ang Pagoda, the most important part of the structure, is located in the centre and faces east. It is designed with a multi-layered roof decorated with four curved dragon’s tails on four of the roof’s corners.
 Decorative reliefs on the pagoda’s walls include a fairy, statues of divine Krud birds, the ogress Yeak wearing armor, and the head of the Bayon with four faces, all expressing the spirit of the Khmer people. 
  The corridor outside the main chamber is decorated with Naga curving around the terrace that represent cruel forces subdued by the Buddha.

The Khmer, who account for 30 per cent of the province’s population, have enriched the local cuisine with traditional ingredients and distinctive flavours.

Bún Nước Lèo (noodle soup) is one of the most well-known. It consists of snakehead fish, roast pork and shrimp, with the essential “mắm bò hóc” (bò hóc sauce) to enrich the boldness and brackishness of the soup.
Central: The pagoda’s main chamber, the most important part of the structure, is located in the centre of Khmer pagodas.

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