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[Photos] Competition for Lucky Balls in Phu Tho Turns Into Mayhem

Every spring in northern Phu Tho Province, locals celebrate Phet Hien Quan, a unique traditional festival that is held on the 13th day of the Lunar New Year.

Unlike other Tet traditions which revolve around introspective visits to the pagoda or jovial, nhậu-filled meals, Phet Hien Quan is characterized by a free-for-all among thousands of young men competing for "lucky balls", reports Tuoi Tre.

The event is meant to commemorate Thieu Hoa, a female Vietnamese general who helped the Trung sisters defeat Chinese invaders in 40 AD and is highlighted by an event wherein nine bamboo balls of various sizes are painted red and buried underground in a large field.

Said to give luck to the final holder, young men from neighboring villages are divided into teams of 10-20, each of which then battles for the lucky balls amidst physical violence and verbal assaults.

A young man covered in mud lies exhausted on the ground.

Confrontation and violence breaks out after all of the lucky balls have been stolen.

One person tries to escape from the crowd after managing to steal one of the lucky balls.

A young man raises his fist toward the crowd as an effort to steal a lucky ball.

A man is seen being dragged away from the crowd by his teammates after fainting in the chaotic struggle.

A man with a huge tattoo on his back prepares to charge into the crowd to catch a lucky ball.

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