A ritual of the festival (Source: VNA)
Ben Tre (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre on July 18 received a certificate recognising its Nghinh Ong or whale worshipping festival as national intangible cultural heritage, the first of its kind in the locality.

The annual festival takes place in Binh Thang commune, Binh Dai district from the 15 th -17 th day of the sixth lunar month, featuring various rituals.

During the festival, about 20 shipping boats decorated with flags, flowers and offerings set sails on the background of traditional music to express farmers’ gratitude towards the Nam Hai god (a whale) and pray for his help when they are in distress at sea, safe voyages and bumper hauls of fish.

The festival also offers an opportunity for farmers to take a rest after hard-working days and strengthen their solidarity.

Binh Thang now accommodates 613 fishing boats which bring home about 40,000 tonnes of seafood each year.

The Nghinh Ong festival is also celebrated in many other coastal localities across the country during various times of the year.-VNA