The Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Committee recently proposed that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recognize the Can Gio Whale greeting festival as a national, intangible cultural heritage.
The city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has also submitted to the ministry a complete profile of the festival.
The ministry is expected to consider the recognition before the festival takes place in the eighth month of the lunar calendar this year.
The Can Gio Whale greeting festival, which is held on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar every year, is one of the biggest festivals involving whale worshipping and praying for good catches in the southern region.
According to the culture department’s profile of the festival, although the Can Gio festival, held in Can Thanh town in HCMC’s suburban Can Gio district, shares some similarities regarding main rituals with other whale greeting fests in the region, it boasts several distinctive features.
Unlike other fests, the Can Gio festival coincides with the Mid-Autumn festival, and is enriched with legends and folklore on the formation and development of the Can Gio salt marsh.
According to recent statistics, Can Gio is currently home to nine temples and shrines devoted to whales, which locals, particularly fishermen respectfully address and consider their savior and blessing provider.