The festival is jubilantly held with many and many exciting activities. Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province has many folk festivals: Trung Cuu festival, the Nghinh Ong festival, Thang Tam Temple festival, Dinh Co festival…Its cutture is the harmonious combination of all three North – Central – South. So, the festivals is particular.
Nghinh Ong festival is held in the fishing village in the province when the fishing season begins. The festival involves the rites of Ong worshipping, procession of Ong on sea by a big decorated boat with flag and flowers, bustling with drums and gongs. After the rituals are games such as boi singing, ba trao singing, martial performance Rituals performed in each place is different but there is always a procession of greeting Ong(the Big Fish) repertoire (whale) on the beach and then the “hat boi” organization.
Nghinh Ong festival in Vung Tau is the largest of all the festivals organised in the coastal provinces from Ninh Thuan to the south. The annual Nghinh Ong festival was held at the Ca Ong mausoleum (Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Vung Tau city) is the most solemn.
‘Ông’ is the respectful way in which the fishermen of southern Vietnam address whales and dolphins, which they believe to be guardian spirits. Whales in particular are believed to help fishing boats caught in storms to reach places of safety, and according to tradition fishermen arrange elaborate funerals for dead whales which have been washed ashore.
The legend tells whale worshiping customs is originated from Cham ethnic minority: “Because of Cha-aih-va named God want to come back quickly to his country after difficult magical practice that he answered back his trainer and self-wiled deformed to become the whale.
Nghinh Ong festival is held by the regional residents’ participation. Early morning, the festival start with people group included old men, village communes…going up a big boat which decored with flowers, flags, altar and ancestral tablet, the five notes group, gongs, drums, and lion dances group come to the defined location for offering incense, alcohol.
Then, group of boats come back wharf to welcome Ong to the temple, continuously the incense offering ceremony for our virtuous ancestors and virtuous posterities, reading funeral oration, honous, and then offering tea, flower and alcohol of pupils…
This festival also includes a lantern procession on board fishing boats, a basket boat competition.
Coming to the festival, travelers in Vietnam travel will have a chance to see many other cultural activities such as: martial arts, dragon dances, Hat Boi…with harmony rhythm of gong sound, drum-beat in full incense.