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[Photos] The Mud Wrestlers of Yen Vien Village

Every year between the 12th and 14th days of the fourth lunar month (May 10 - 12), the men of Yen Vien Village in Bac Giang Province partake in the a 3 hour “Ball Catching in Mud Festival.”

The traditional sport is held to bring luck and prosperity to the town’s people and involves 2 teams of 8 men each that battle for control of a 20kg wooden ball. VietNamNews sent a photographer to this year’s match who captured the event in all its muddy glory.

The men, who wear only loin cloths, burn incense, prey for blessings and drink 3 bowls of rice wine before representatives of both teams wrestle to determine who gets control of the ball first.

They take their good tidings and buzz to the 200 square meter field which is filled with wet mud and attempt to score by getting the ball into 80-centimetre-deep and 50-centimetre-wide holes that serve as goals.

Anyone want to start up a weekly game in Saigon?

[VNS]