Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City’s Cần Giờ District is preparing for its annual Nghinh Ông Festival, to be held next week to show fishermen’s respect for the whale and gratitude for a bumper catch.
The festival, which falls on the 16th day of the eight month of the lunar calendar, includes a procession on land and at sea followed by local residents in traditional costumes and dozens of fishing vessels.
The procession will move from Ông Thủy Tướng Temple (Temple Worshiping the Whale) to the sea and from the sea to the temple.
The festival will include a release of lanterns to the sea organised by young people who will pray for a good fishing season, and a visit to Rừng Sác War Martyrs Cemetery to remember soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country.
The organisers will host exhibitions showcasing photos and objects which feature fishing activities and the Cần Giờ mangrove forest, designated a world biosphere reserve in 2000.
Dozens of artists from the city’s Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương (Reformed Opera) Theatre will perform several extracts from famous plays for local people and tourists.
A food festival, folk games, sports, and traditional music performances will be held during the event. A Mid-Autumn Festival for local children will also be included.
Võ Trọng Nam, deputy director of the Department of Culture and Sport, said: “The Nghinh Ông Festival was recognised as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013. It is the only traditional festival for fishermen held to celebrate their fishing career.”
“The event promotes tourism in Cần Giờ, as well as nurture the people’s love for Việt Nam’s sea and islands,” he added.
The organisers hope the festival will attract 50,000 local and foreign visitors.
The festival is organised by the city’s Department of Culture and Sports and Cần Giờ District People’s Committee. It will take place from September 13-17. — VNS