A spiritual festival honouring the holy lady of Mount Sam in Chau Doc city, in the Mekong Delta of An Giang was certified as national intangible heritage on June 8.

The Via Ba Chua Xu festival, which has became a national event since 2001, annually takes place from the 22 nd to the 27 th of the fourth month of the lunar calendar, reeling in approximately 4 million visitors.

The event goes through a number of rituals, most importantly the rite of statue bathing on the opening day, which fell on June 8 this year.

According to a popular mythology, the goddess statue was discovered by locals at the top of Mount Sam, and then carried to the foot of the mountain, where she has been housed and worshipped until today.

The festival also features a range of cultural activities, including musical concerts, a dragon-dance performance and a boat race.

The local authority is carrying out a master plan on developing Mount Sam tourism through to 2020, with a target to turn the destination into a recognised national tourism zone. The recognition is expected to make the locality appeal to investors.

An Giang is home to 1,198 relic sites, including 26 national and 46 provincial items of heritage.-VNA