The Festival of fish god worship is familiar to coastal provinces from Quang Binh to the Southern Vietnam and also one of the biggest festivals of fishermen. On August 15th – 17th (lunar calendar), Can Gio fishermen annually celebrates a solemn ceremony to honor Fish God in the Whale temple where worships a “General South Sea” knighted by the King Tu Duc at Can Thanh village, Can Gio district, Ho Chi Minh city.
The festival has many different names such as: procession of Whale’s bone, Cau Ngu ceremony, Whale cult, etc., however all has the same concept that the Whale is a Saint protecting fisheries and sea-related activities in general, hence it becomes a religion of fishermen.
On August 15th, the festival atmosphere is made busier with exiting cultural activities outside the temple.
On morning of 16 August, priests wear traditional costumes for General South Sea ceremony procession. A group of junk starts at Can Gio- Vung Tau wharf. Along the procession route, fishermen and residents on both sides of the street present offerings with burning spiral incense. Together with Dragon boat of ceremony procession, hundreds of large and small junks carrying thousands of passengers and fishermen who attend the procession. It is about two-hour to go in procession and then return to the Can Gio wharf and back to the Whale temple. At the wharf, a group of lion dance, dragon dance already wait to welcome the Whale to the village.
In the ceremony procession to the temple, traditional rituals are taken place. The ceremony for peace, Hat Boi singing take place at the temple and cultural and art activities also perform outside at the same time.
On the morning of 17th August, at the Whale temple, fishermen imitate the knight ceremony of General. The festival ends with the expectation of fishermen for a smooth year of business.
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