Dinh Co festival, Nghinh Ong is no longer only encapsulated within 1 province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, but spread to become a unique cultural feature of many southern coastal cities.

Information from Vung Tau City People’s Committee, on February 14, 2023, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued Decision 236-237/QD-BVHTTDL on February 14, 2023 announcing the list of national intangible cultural heritages for Nghinh Ong Traditional Festival and Dinh Co Traditional Festival in Vung Tau.

Dinh Co Festival

Những điều thú vị về Lễ hội Dinh Cô, Lễ hội Nghinh Ông - 2 Di sản văn hóa phi vật thể QG mới - Ảnh 1.

The Co Long Hai Palace Festival takes place from the 10th, 11th and 12th month of the 2nd lunar month every year, attracting tens of thousands of fishermen and visitors.

Dinh Co Festival has gradually developed into a festival with the meaning of praying for peace on the sea, praying for national thai people’s an. This is one of the major festivals in the Southern Sea, held at Dinh Co Relic – National historical and cultural relic, located at the foot of Thuy Van mountain, TT. Long Hai. The festival takes place from the 10th, 11th and 12th day of the 2nd lunar month every year, attracting tens of thousands of fishermen and visitors.

The festival has many activities such as: Performing ancient songs, exchanging amateur songs, contesting folk games in the sea (knitting nets, net poles, carrying fish …), lion-lion-dragon dance … attracting teams from many Southern provinces to attend. Festival day rituals: prayers at the main hall the night before. Outside there was a flower festival. The procession on the morning of 12 on dozens of boats decorated splendidly to pray for the calm sky, shrimp and fish filled the compartment.

Nghinh Co Festival is part of the system of festivals to worship Mother – Typical Goddess of Ba Ria – Vung Tau fishermen. But this is not merely the worship of Mother – Goddess but the combination of Cau Ngu festival with the worship of the God of the Sea (Ms. Thuy Long, whale of the Cham people) and the belief of worshiping Mother – Goddess of local residents.

The Dinh Co Festival consists of a Ceremony section and a Festival section.

As for the Ceremony:

Before the main holiday (10th and 11/2nd of the lunar calendar) there are nights of lanterns on the sea. Tens of thousands of brightly flowered boats were parked on the beachfront, pointing their noses at Dinh Co. From the day of the main holiday (February 12), from early in the morning, the boats turned towards the sea to perform the ceremony of Nghinh Co.

A boat of fishermen who are considered the best seafarers of the year is chosen to lead, on top of the throne, the dragon girl and the rest of the ceremonial committee, the elders with stately costumes and the dragon lion team. The boat crew sailed out to sea in a resounding procession. Traveling about 2-3 nautical miles, aiming for the place where She died in the past, he began the ritual of procession of Her with the gods, ancestors to the palace to eat.

As for the Society:

During the 3 days at Dinh Co festival, locals and visitors will stay up all night, all morning with typical festivals such as dropping lanterns, beating drums, gongs, racing boats and singing “bait”.

Những điều thú vị về Lễ hội Dinh Cô, Lễ hội Nghinh Ông - 2 Di sản văn hóa phi vật thể QG mới - Ảnh 2.

Many exciting activities during the festival.

During the holidays, Dinh Co is decorated very brightly, dignified, with flower lights. The houses in the ten thousand boats all set incense tables, on which there are incense lamps, fruit cakes, raspberries … at night there are hanging lanterns.

The fishermen’s boats were docked, each with multicolored paper lamps, flowers from nose to nose, including masts. The boats from fishing villages such as Long Hai, Phuoc Hai, Phuoc Province, Vung Tau and some boats from the Central region have become wide. Therefore, at night here, there is a glorious bustle of the lantern festival. Every boat here points its nose in front of The Co Palace to perform the ritual of “Adoration of You”.

As night fell the boats illuminated a corner of the sky. Fishermen believe that when their boat returns to adoration of her, if decorated beautifully, it also means expressing sincere respect to her along with wishing her blessings and help the boat with more shrimp and fish. It is from that concept that all boats emulate the decoration of their boats in the most beautiful way, creating a sea with hundreds of colorful boats.

Another ritual that appears during the Nghinh Co festival is the release ceremony. People buy birds in cages and organize the release of birds, similar to the release on full moon or day one that people in some places still do.

During the days of Nghinh Co festival in Ba Ria Vung Tau, there are singing troupes about acting and singing. The performances also have the same content as the performances in the Rite of Fame. In addition, people also organize dragon lion dances, cotton dances (five-color trays, gold trays, silver trays) and other folk games such as fishing competitions, eel catching and boat competitions, basket racing … These folk games often attract a large number of young fishermen in their hearts to participate.

Therefore, this game often takes place very excitedly and excitingly because of the enthusiastic cheers of viewers, making the festival more exciting and attractive.