A pair of male water buffaloes are pitted against one another in what amounts to a fairly harmless head wrestling contest. This widely loved spectacle still takes place at selected venues around the island, where banners are displayed days in advance.
Like sumo, the elaborate and theatrical preparations are an important part of the show, after which the animals are set loose to glower and paw the ground. Finally they lock horns and the crowd goes wild. The show at the edge of the ring is just as entertaining as the one within. The first beast to turn and run away is the loser, and so are some punters in the crowd.