The traditional Nghinh Ông festival to worship the whale and celebrate local fishermen’s good catches has kicked off in suburban Cần Giờ district in Hồ Chí Minh City and runs until September 21.
The time-honored festival also earned the recognition of the national intangible heritage on September 19.
The main procession took place at Ông Thủy Tướng Temple and Co Khi wharf on the morning of September 20.
The offerings to the whale, believed by locals to be a deity who brings them blessings, and “hát bộ” (traditional opera) are set for 1pm today.
The festival features an exhibit called “The sea, island and river tourism in Hồ Chí Minh City” at Cần Thạnhh park, and a Vietnamese products market sessions on Lê Thương street.
The Mid-Autumn fest for local kids, which took place yesterday, had diverse activities such as lantern making, cuisine stalls and folk games.
Another highlight of the festival is the Chinese chess games at Cần Thạnh park and human chess performances at Cần Giờ market.
The festival also boasts other traditional art activities such as dragon and kylin dances, martial arts and “cải lương” (traditional southern music) performances, as well as floating colored lanterns on the sea held at Ông Thủy Tướng Temple, Cần Giờ market and Cần Thạnh park.
Other highlights are circus street performances, artistic kite flying and parachutes on the beaches, along with a national marathon and football on stilts matches.