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The event commemorate the village's tutelary deity, Phan Tay Nhac, a general of the 18th Hung King who ruled Vietnam thousands of years ago. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
Organisers prepare bags of rice straw for the 4 participating teams, who represent the village's 4 residential areas. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The teams tear nứa, a type of Vietnamese bamboo into thin pieces to make them more flammable. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The contestants weave the straws into bundles, which are then place under and on top of clean stone mortars. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
Straw bundles are shaped into chicken nests under the stone mortars to stabilize them. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
Straws are also padded on the mortars' rims to prevent rice from spilling out. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The village's courtyard is packed. The rice cooking contest has three phases: Fire making, water collecting, and rice cooking. Children from 12-14 participate in a 700m marathon from the village's courtyard to its north to collect water. Whoever brings water back to the courtyard first wins. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The first 2 phases of the contest begin at 11AM sharp. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The remaining contestants at the courtyard start making fire with only dry bamboo and straws. They are overjoyed to see the first spark. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The teams return to their position to take care of their rice pots. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The paddy is pounded with stone mortars and big pestles. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The four young contestants return. The first to arrive was Nguyễn Vinh Khoa of residential 4 (rightmost). (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The courtyard is filled with smoke, sound of drums, and cheering. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
Cooking rice with straw and firewood requires a lot of experience. Most participants are the village's elderly. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
Hand-pounded rice is more difficult to cook, according to village elders. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The contestants burn straws to make ashes to cover the rice pots, which helps cook the rice. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)
The time limit 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. The rice is then brought outside for a public judging of the rice quality. (Photo: Tuan Anh/VOV)

Thi Cam’s village rice cooking contest

(VOVWORLD) - A rice cooking contest is an age-old tradition held every spring in Thi Cam village in Hanoi.