Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The annual Nghinh Ông Festival, in which fishermen show respect for the whale, as a symbol for the spirit of the sea, and gratitude for bumper catch, is to take place in HCM City’s Cần Giờ District on October 3-5.
The event, falls on August 16 of the lunar calendar, will begin with a procession on land and at sea followed by local authorities and residents in traditional costumes as well as dozens of fishing vessels.
The procession will take place at the Ông Thủy Tướng Temple (Temple Worshiping the Whale) and then move to the sea.
People will also visit Rừng Sác Martyrs Cemetery to pay respect to fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country.
A release of lanterns to the sea to pray for a good fishing season will follow, as well as a food festival, folk games, cooking, painting and sports competition.
Traditional song and music performances staged by State-owned art troupes that bring several hundred artists to the occasion.
Veteran and young singers and dancers, from the city’s Trần Hữu Trang Theatre (reformed opera), HCM City Theatre (classical drama) and HCM City Centre of Song and Music, will also stage performances, which include many popular and famous Vietnamese songs.
Several extracts from famous cải lương and tuồng plays will also be included.
The Nghinh Ông Festival is co-organised by the city’s Department of Culture and Sports and Cần Giờ District People’s Committee.
The festival, recognised as a national Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013, is one of many traditional festivals Vietnamese fishermen held to celebrate their fishing career.
The event also help promote tourism in Cần Giờ District. Last year, it attracted more than 50,000 local and foreign visitors. — VNS