A crowd of almost 700 fishermen in traditional costumes praying for a good fishing harvest on June 14 aroused the curiosity of visitors to a sea festival in Nha Trang Coastal Park, Khanh Hoa province.

The event originated when a dead whale drifted onshore near a coastal village. The prayer used to taking place at the temple built for the giant fish in an expectation that it would bring a bountiful fish harvest.

The event strictly followed the original rituals, which began with a two-phase procession to welcome the whale, which locals respectfully call “His High Excellency”. The first phase was a worshipping ceremony at sea and the second was a procession to bring the soul of “His High Excellency” to the temple dedicated to him.

The rituals culminated in a chanting festival where folk chants vividly painted a picture of an occupation full of risks and dangers for fishermen.

The event was part of the ongoing Nha Trang Sea Destination festival 2011, which was colourful with numerous festivities such as a bicycle taxi parade, kite flying and a dancing festival./.