Vietnam’s special cattle market in Nghe An

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thanh luong cattle marketReferred to as “The Market”, this specialty spot in the central province of Nghe An is a place only for selling buffaloes and oxen.
The market, located in Thanh Luong Commune, Thanh Chuong District, is opened (according to the lunar calendar) on the 2nd, 6th, 9th, 12nd, 16th, 19th, 22nd, 26th and the 29th monthly.This is the largest cattle market in Nghe An in terms of both scale and the number of participants. Between 300 and 400 buffaloes and oxen are brought to the market per day.

No one seems to remember when Thanh Luong cattle market was originated they all seem to know that it is held on the nine days per month as mentioned above. People come here only for oxen and buffaloes, allowing dealers to and find suitable buffaloes and oxen.
It is referred to as “The Market” but in fact, it is a flat and blank land plot surrounded by fences on four sides without stalls or a crowded atmosphere. Buffaloes and oxen are taken here, some are tied to a fixed picket and the rest will be led by their owners.
People in Thanh Luong live less fortunate conditions. They do not have money to raise oxen therefore, they often buy several oxen and breed them for sale on the market. Each market-day, they can sell from two to three buffaloes or oxen, earning profits of between VND3 million (USD150) and VND5 million (USD250) per month. In lucky times, they can earn VND10 million (USD500) per month.
The market also attracts sellers and buyers from other districts besides Thanh Luong Commune, even those in Ha Tinh Province.
There are no fixed prices for buffaloes and oxen, but buyers and sellers often bargain. At the market, dealers go around to select cattle satisfactory to buyers needs. They are buffaloes and oxen which have strong legs, round claws, horns, a slim body and several other characteristics. Some traders carefully open cattle mouths to check teeth which must be even and white, showing signs of good health.
“The traders do not select buffaloes and oxen which often ‘smile’ and whose tails are white because they think that these cattle will cause unluckiness for their families, even deaths,” Mr Phu, an experienced buffalo dealer said.
One special feature is that traders only have to pay market tax after they sell the cattle successfully. The market is also a place for farmers to exchange cattle breeding experiences.