Since its Cau Ngu or Whale Worshipping Festival was recognised as national intangible cultural heritage by the end of 2016, Phu Yen province has exerted their greatest effort to preserve and promote the significant annual event among local fishermen.

The Whale Worshipping Festival is originated in the deep-rooted belief of Vietnamese fishermen that whale is the sea god, who protects them from dangers during their offshore fishing trips.

The Phú Câu village communal house in Tuy Hoa city still keeps a hundreds-year-old whale’s skeleton to worship the god of the sea.

In the central province of Phu Yen, the Whale Worshipping festival is held once or twice a year from the first to the eighth month of lunar calendar. The festival is an event of importance to local fishermen.

The event often takes place for at least two days with a wide range of rituals and ceremonies.

A number of rituals take place on the first day of the event, including palanquin procession to the water front, oration reading and folk singing to invite Whale God and water spirits to the temple.

The local fishermen join hands to prepare offering trays of pork and fruits for a worshipping ritual which is held on the second day of the festival.

Beside rituals, many joyful cultural activities, including traditional games, are also held.

The festival is a cultural identity of the coastal locality, which has been preserved and passed down through generations, contributing to enriching the country’s culture.-VNA