Wading in the mud to catch fish for good luck
QUANG TRI – Hundreds of people in Hai Hung commune, Hai Lang district wade through water across their stomachs, catching fish for luck.
On September 3, the People’s Committee of Hai Hung commune, Hai Lang district held a festival to break the moon (the lagoon) of Tra Loc. This is the day Tra Loc villagers, as well as tourists from all over the world, are free to fish and enjoy aquatic resources in Tra Loc lagoon after two years of conservation. This meeting is held every year, but 2021 is postponed due to Covid-19.
At the beginning of the festival, the elders of Tra Loc village perform a traditional ritual, inform their ancestors about the opening of the festival, and pray for the people to catch a lot of fish and shrimp and have a good harvest. Whoever catches a lot of fish is said to have a lot of luck and be blessed by nature.
After 3 hours of drumming, people from all sides poured into the lagoon, carrying baskets, baskets, bags, foam boxes, plastic buckets… to store fish. Before the festival, Tra Loc lagoon is drained, creating favorable conditions for people to catch fish and shrimp. However, there are places where people have to wade across their stomachs. Many people said that the fish this year is more and bigger because there is no festival in a year.
People hold bows, follow the line to force the fish to one side. The festival is usually held after the summer-autumn rice crop ends. The lagoon is about 20 hectares wide, formerly an irrigation lake, irrigating the rice fields of Tra Loc people. After the Nam Thach Han irrigation project came into operation, Tra Loc lagoon was like an ecological lake, creating a landscape for the village. Recently, this area was organized into an eco-tourism area.
Mr. Le Minh Tam (Tra Loc resident) smiled brightly because he caught a fish about 3 kg after more than an hour of wading in the mud. His fish basket has two other smaller fish, the rest are full of small fish. “People join the fun fishing festival. The big fish I will cook porridge for the family,” said Mr. Tam.
In another corner, Mr. Le Toan (Tra Loc resident) excitedly raised the fish he had just caught. He said he was happy to join the association. The fish he caught he will share with his relatives and neighbors because he cannot eat them all.
For the past two years, Tra Loc villagers have not been able to fish for shrimp in the lagoon. They join hands to preserve aquatic resources for a single festival of the year. The fish and shrimp here are of natural origin and grow healthy in the lagoon.
Whether catching more or less fish, participants in the festival are all laughing and talking happily.
This year’s festival also attracts photographers from Hanoi, Da Nang, Thua Thien Hue… to compose and record joyful moments of the villagers.
Many children are also allowed to wade through the mud by their parents and pick up small fish left behind to learn about the traditional festival.
On the shore, dozens of people laugh and laugh, excited when they see people catching big fish, or pulling fish into the net but losing their hands when they put them in the bag.
Local people consider Tra Loc lagoon to be an invaluable asset bestowed by nature. Surrounding this lagoon is a natural forest that people have preserved for hundreds of years. This area has relics of Tra Loc Cham Tower, which was recognized by Quang Tri Provincial People’s Committee as a Provincial Historic Site in 2003. In the village’s sand dunes, people also found a Tra Loc bronze drum, which was later recognized as a Tra Loc bronze drum. recognized as a National Treasure.
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