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Before the competition, participating teams must prepare items such as pestles, mortars, straw, pots (Photo: VOV)
They pound and tear down the nứa (a type of Vietnamese bamboo) to make them more flammable. (Photo: VOV)
As per the village's ancient customs, 4 teams of 10 are selected to compete at noon from 11:00AM to 12:00PM . (Photo: VOV)
The rice cooking contest has three phases: Fire making, water collecting, and rice cooking. Children from 12-14 participate in a marathon from the village's courtyard to its north to collect water. (Photo: VOV)
At exactly 11 o’clock, the contest begins with a fire making ritual with steel wools and straw. (Photo: VOV)
First, rice is pounded in stone mortars and big pestles. Each pound must be swift and skillful. (Photo: VOV)
After pounding, the rice is sifted to remove dirt and then washed. (Photo: VOV)
Meanwhile, the water collected by the youngsters is boiled in a pot. The rice is then cooked in the boiling water. (Photo: VOV)
The final phase of the contest is no less exciting. Rice pots with no water left inside are buried under a pile of straw ash so that the rice would come out evenly cooked. (Photo: VOV)
The village's courtyard is filled with the festive and bustling sound of drums and cheering from villagers and visitors. (Photo: VOV)
Le Thi Huong, a tourist who has been the annual rice cooking contest of Thi Cam villages for several times, said she is very impressed with the festival. (Photo: VOV)
The time limit for each team is indicated with a burning incense. The judges will locate the rice pots in a multitude of ash piles after the incense is burnt out. (Photo: VOV)
If the teams hide their pots well, they get more time for the rice to be more evenly cooked. If the judges can locate their pots quickly, their rice would be undercooked. (Photo: VOV)
After locating all four teams' pots of rice, the judges bring the rice inside. Bui Thanh Liem, a member of the contest's organizing committee, said he has been a part of the committee since 1996. The rice cooking contest embraces Thi Cam village's traditional cultural values. (Photo: VOV)
The judges prepare 4 bowls of rice to offer to the village's tutelary deity. (Photo: VOV)
The rice bowls are offered with utmost respect. (Photo: VOV)
After the offering ceremony, the rice is brought outside for grading so the entire village can see. With its unique cultural values, Thi Cam village's rice cooking contest has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage. (Photo: VOV)

Thi Cam village's rice cooking contest

(VOVWORLD) - Thi Cam village in Xuan Phuong ward, Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, holds a special rice cooking contest every year to commemorate the village's tutelary genie, Phan Tay Nhac, a general of the 18th Hung King.