Phu Yen’s Whale Worship Festival recognised as intangible cultural heritage

Wednesday, 2016-11-23 05:21:32
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Fishermen in Hoa Loi village, Xuan Canh commune, Song Cau town, Phu Yen province organise the 2015 Whale Worship Festival.
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NDO—The Phu Yen province People’s Committee held a ceremony on November 23 to receive a certificate recognising its Whale Worship Festival as part of the nation’s intangible cultural heritage.

The festival is a traditional cultural activity in coastal fishing villages in Phu Yen that plays a special role in the spiritual lives of locals. It is held annually or biennially in January, February, March, April, July or August, according to the lunar calendar, with its scale depending on financial contributions in each locale.

The Whale Worship Festival in Phu Yen usually takes place over a period of at least two days, with fishermen performing rituals to welcome whales with a palanquin procession on the first day and worshipping rituals including offerings to the whales on the second day of festivities.

Following the rituals are community activities, such as folk performances and tuong (classical opera) singing.

According to Phan Dinh Phung, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, the festival satisfies the spiritual demands of fishermen. Through the event, traditional arts and folk games in coastal fishing villages have been preserved and promoted.

* On the same day, Thanh Hoa’s provincial authorities held a ceremony to receive a certificate recognising Con Moong Cave and surrounding relics as a special national relic.

Con Moong Cave, situated in Thach Thanh district’s Thanh Yen commune, was discovered in 1974. The cave boasts one of the longest cultural histories in Southeast Asia, indicating the continuous development of human beings throughout the ages.

On the occasion, Thanh Hoa’s provincial Museum launched a thematic exhibition themed “Con Moong Cave and Surrounding Relics—A Heritage Journey.” The event showcases nearly 500 artefacts and photos collected through archeological excavations at Con Moong Cave.