Pig hunting festival in Phu Tho Province

Pig hunting festiPig hunting festival in Phu Tho Provinceval has been a long-running tradition in Ha Thach Village, Ha Thach District, in the northern province of Phu Tho, held every 5th day of the lunar January.

The festival is also known by the name “Ong Cau”, which refers to the tradition of soldiers hunting wild pigs in the old capital city of Van Lang. The custom was recently resumed by villagers in 1996.

The ong cau is a male pig which has a black mane, and is sought after by locals during the several months leading up to Tet. On the 23rd of the lunar month of December, villagers choose a local house for building a “house” for the pig. The household must be successful with well-off, law-abiding citizens.

The “house” of ong cau is made with a bamboo frame, and covered with palm leaves to keep out the cold. Weapons, such as knife and spears, are displayed around the house.

The pig is kept at there from the 23rd of the lunar December (the Day of Kitchen God) until the 5th day of the lunar January. Then the villagers release the animal in order to chase and hunt it.