BANGKOK – Thousands of people participated on Wednesday in the Bamboal Krobei, an annual water buffalo and horse race held in the Cambodian village of Vihear Sour Cheung, 35 kilometers from Phnom Penh.
The almost a century old race, which marks the end of the Pchum Ben festival – the Cambodian equivalent of the Mexican day of the dead – started in the morning and continued until dusk, attracting thousands of people from the Cambodian capital and other cities, including Kampong Cham and Kampong Chhnang.
The color red dominated the races this year and was seen on decorations on the animals and the costumes of the riders as well as the saddles.
Many riders, however, preferred to ride bareback, just using the bridles.
Cambodian free-style wrestling events were also organized as part of the festivities in Vihear Sour Cheung.
The buffalo and horse races had continued even during the Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot, which forced a massive number of urban people to move to villages and caused 1.7 million deaths in the country.