Nghinh Ong festival now a national intangible heritage
Update: Sep 20, 2013
A ceremony was held in Can Gio district of Ho Chi Minh City on September 19 to recognise the Nghinh Ong (Whale worshiping) festival as a national intangible cultural heritage.
Addressing the ceremony, Director General of the Southern Office of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Van Hung said the recognition affirmed the unique character of the festival, while acknowledging the efforts of the local people in preserving and upholding the cultural value over the past time.

The ministry has asked the city, particularly Can Gio district, to continue building a project to preserve and bring into full play the value of this cultural heritage, he added.

In Can Gio district, Nghinh Ong festival is held along with the Mid-Autumn Festival (from August 15-17 in lunar calendar), with the focus being the worship of the whale at sea held on August 16.

It is a chance for fishermen to express their gratitude towards the Nam Hai god (a whale) and sea gods for protecting and supporting fishermen in their daily life and at sea, and to pray for peace and good harvest.