Nghinh Ong festival kicks off
Update: Oct 04, 2017
The 2017 ‘Nghinh Ong’ (Whale Worship) Festival kicked off in the coastal town of Can Thanh, Can Gio District, Ho Chi Minh City, on October 3.

The annual festival is an event for fishermen to show their respect for the whale and their gratitude for a bumper catch. In 2013, the festival was officially regconised as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Huynh Thanh Nhan, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports, said that, with aim of promoting the traditional value of folk festivals, this year’s Nghinh Ong festival features many activities in commemoration of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country, as well as commemorating the founders of the land. The event is considered as an opportunity for local people to introduce their history, culture and destinations to visitors, he added.

The three-day festival, from October 3-5 (the fourteenth to sixteenth days of the eighth lunar month), features a series of rituals and festive activities, including a pilgrimage to Rung Sac (Sac Forest) War Martyrs Cemetery to remember the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country, a rite to pay tribute to the founders of the land and a ceremony for local fishermen to celebrate their bumper catch.

The organisers will organise exhibitions showcasing photos and objects of the Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve and the fishing activities of local fishermen and arrange a cuisine street to introduce the specialties of the coastal district.

The event will also feature a procession from the sea to Ong Thuy Tuong Temple (Temple Worshiping the Whale), a release of lanterns on the sea, folk games, lion dances and other traditional performances.

The event is expected to attract around 100,000 visitors.