Vietnam’s tug-of-war games, ritual receive UNESCO certification

UNESCO has officially added the sitting tug-of-war games and rituals at Vietnam's Tran Vu temple to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

A ceremony was held Sunday to receive the UNESCO certificate during the annual traditional festival at Tran Vu temple in Hanoi. Tug-of-war rituals and games are prevalent in the rice-farming cultures of East Asia and Southeast Asia as a form for communities to pray for abundant harvests and prosperity. They mark the start of the agricultural cycle and often begin with commemorative rites to local deities.

Typically held near a communal house or shrine, two teams on either end of a rope try to tug it from the other. The practice strengthens community solidarity and identity, UNESCO said on its website.

Source: VOV5