The opening ceremony of the festival (Source: voh.com.vn)
 
HCM City (VNA) - Nghinh Ong Festival, an event for fishermen to show their respect for whales and gratitude for a bumper catch, began in Can Gio district of Ho Chi Minh City on October 3.

The Nghinh Ong Festival in Can Gio, held annually around the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, is taking place in the coastal town of Can Thanh until October 5.

Huynh Thanh Nhan, Director of HCM City Department of Culture and Sports, said the festival honours ancestors who established the nation and those who died to protect the country. It also helps the city introduce its history, cultural traits and destinations to visitors.

[Nghinh Ong Festival in Can Gio returns with bigger scale]

The event includes will rituals and festive activities, including a pilgrimage to Rung Sac (Sac Forest) War Martyrs Cemetery to remember soldiers who died to protect the country, a rite to pay tribute to founders of the land and a ceremony for local fishermen to celebrate the bumper catch.

The organisers will host exhibitions showcasing photos and objects of the Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve and fishing activities of local fishermen, and arrange a cuisine street to introduce dishes from the coastal district.

The festival also features a procession from the sea to Ong Thuy Tuong Temple (Temple Worshiping the Whale), a release of lanterns to the sea, folk games, lion dances and other traditional performances.

The festival expects to attract about 100,000 visitors this year.

The Nghinh Ong Festival in Can Gio was regconised as National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013.-VNA