The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has recognised the “Cau Ngu” (whale worship) festival in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa as a national intangible cultural heritage.

The certificate for the recognition was presented to representatives from 46 worship temples during a ceremony in Nha Trang city on April 10.

Cau Ngu (also known as Nghinh Ong) festival represents the spiritual life of locals in coastal localities in the south-central region, and derives from the Nam Hai (Whale Saint) worshipping custom.

The festival is held annually after the Lunar New Year, when fishermen start a new fishing season. It aims to express gratitude towards Nam Hai for safeguarding fishermen, and pray for bumper hauls of fish, safe voyages and peace for the nation.

The festival is organised for 1-3 days both at sea and in temples, covering a number of traditional practices and art performances.

Khanh Hoa province is rich in seafood and aquatic farming with 380 km of coastline. Currently, the locality has nearly 10,000 fishing vessels manned by about 32,000 fishermen. The annual catch of the province is around 80,000 tonnes.-VNA