The Nghinh Ong Festival, an event held for fishermen to pay their respects to whales and show their gratitude for a bumper catch, was held on October 2 in Vung Tau city, southern Vietnam, with thousands of residents and tourists in attendance.
Each year the festival takes place between the 16th and the 18th day of the eighth lunar month. The event happens because Vietnamese fishermen believe that whales rescue people that are in danger at sea and are a symbol of good fortune to bring them a prosperous fishing season.
The festival involves many rituals, including one to pray for the sea gods to be organised.
Following the conclusion of the ritual, a procession is held for the whale god, with the procession going from the sea to the Thang Tam Temple.
The procession gets underway on streets in Vung Tau city, such as Ba Cu, Tran Hung Dao, and Hoang Hoa Tham.
The annual Nghinh Ong festival offers a perfect chance for fishermen to express their gratitude towards whales and sea gods. Typically, local fishermen thank gods for protecting and supporting their daily lives. They also pray for good weather and bumper catches.
The festival also features cultural events and folk games.
The Nghinh Ong Festival has been recognised as one of the nation’s 15 largest festivals by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Along with local people, foreigners are also interested in watching the festival.