Nghinh Ong Festival recognized as National Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has recognized the annual Nghinh Ong (Whale Worshiping) Festival held in Can Gio District in Ho Chi Minh City as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Nghinh Ong festival in Can Gio District in HCMC (Photo: Cat Tuong)

Nghinh Ong festival in Can Gio District in HCMC (Photo: Cat Tuong)

Nghinh Ong Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of August on the Lunar Calendar with festivities including various rituals to worship the Whale or Ca Ong, and prayers for good seas, happiness and prosperity.

This is one of South Vietnam’s biggest festivals. There are many parallels between Nghinh Ong Festival and Cau Ngu (Fish Worshiping) Festival.

With many folk stories attached to it, the Nghinh Ong Festival in Can Gio District has its own distinctive characteristics compared to other festivals in the country.

Other festivals including the festival in Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Tri Yen Commune in Yen Dung District in the northern province of Bac Giang; Phu Day festival in Kim Thai Commune in Vu Ban District of the northern province of Nam Dinh; Hat Ba Trao ( folk singing) festival in Thang Binh, Duy Xuyen and Dien Ban Districts in the central province of Quang Nam; and sleeping mat weaving profession in Dinh Yen and Dinh An Communes in Lap Vo District of Dong Thap Province in the Mekong Delta, are also recognized as National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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