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Cau Ngu Festival

(Cinet)- Thousands of the coastal fishermen crowded at the Temple of Whale to pray for a successful fishing seasons and a good weather in Thanh Khe Ward, Da Nang city on February 25.

Cau Ngu Festival (also referred to as Whale Festival) is the biggest festival of fishermen in Da Nang City. After the Tet holiday, fishermen celebrate the Whale Festival and along with that, they start to carry out the new fishing crop. The whale worshiping ceremony is held every year on the 16th of the first lunar month. Cau Ngu Festival is organized in the coastal regions like Man Thai, Tho Quang, Thanh Loc Dan, Xuan Ha, Hoa Hiep, etc. In the festival day, each household set up a solemn and colorful altar. The boats and ships are decorated with lights and flowers. Local fishermen then choose a board including an old age and prestigious men to carry out the worship.

At the prayer ceremony, the elders worship the whale that fishermen believe to help them encounter trouble at sea, bring more luck and pray for a good weather, many fish and shrimp at boat.

In festival days, there are many activities and traditional games which can only be found in the coastal areas like swimming, boat racing, etc. During the ceremony folk games depict assertive traditional culture such as basket boat race, net knitting competition, rod pushing sport, fish salad cook ... were also held. After the ceremony, fishermen launched the first nets to remark the new fishing season.

Unlike other countries, in Vietnam the practice is based on specific incidents in the past where the giant mammals beached near local fishing communities. The Vietnamese call whale as “Ca Ong” or Mr. Whale and whale worshiping ceremony is unique to Vietnam.

Cau Ngu Festival represents the desire to have a peaceful life of the fishermen who always have to face difficulties and danger while staying in the ocean for long time.

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