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Culture 
Opening Dinh Co festival at Long Hai town
11-03-2014 16:25

Worshiping the Nymph and the Holy Mother are traditional culture of Vietnamese during hundreds of generations. Among the popular traditional festivals that have attracted tens of thousands of pilgrims in whole country, it cannot fail to mention Dinh Co festival which is one of events with assertive folklore of coastal residents in Long Hai town, Long Dien District.

Dinh Co festival is being held annually on 10th, 11th and 12th of lunar February. It can be said that the festival is actually a spiritual and physical holiday of fishermen at Long Hai town. During these days, not only local residents but also tens of thousands of pilgrims from Dong Nai, Binh Thuan, Binh Duong, Tay Ninh, and Ho Chi Minh City etc come to worship and commemorate the Holy Mother.

 
Dinh Co festival

In this morning, the ritual committee together with local fishermen at Long Hai town carried out rituals: politely inviting the tablets of Mother Goddess and Nam Hai God to the palace. The next was worshiping for stable settling down of the Gods, worshiping for the ancestors, and praying for a peaceful society. These are indispensable rites of Dinh Co festival. According to Mr. Thai Van Canh, Head of Manager Board of Dinh Co cultural historical vestige, those are traditional rites to invite Gods to attend the festival.

The most distinctive feature of the Dinh Co festival is each pilgrim attending this festival offers a white lily and incense to pray for a peaceful life for themselves and their families in the New Year. During the days before the festival, the local fishermen gathered fishing boats into an area on the sea, then decorated them; all the prows were arranged toward the Co’s statue of  on the top of Ky Van Mountain to wish for safety when going offshore. During 3 days of the festival, local people and tourists stayed up all night to join in activities such as flower lights releasing, drum and gong performing, boat racing and singing etc.

Ms Le Thi Nga, resident at Ba Ria city shared that: “Every year, we visit here to worship The Lady, and then pray for peace and luck to all of fishermen on their offshore trips. I hope that BRVT province will preserve this landscape well, so that people from everywhere can visit here for worshiping”.

Ms Truong Thi Thanh Ngan, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City told that: “Although no one in my family works as fisherman, we still join the festival on the occasion of death anniversary of Co on 10th, 11th and 12th lunar Feb to pray for peace and luck”.

Every year, Dinh Co festival attracts about 50.000 pilgrims attending to pray for luck and enjoy the beauty of nature. This year, it is estimated that the number of tourists might be equivalent or more crowded than previous years. Therefore, right after Tet holiday, many meetings were held to prepare for a safety and successful festival such as  security strengthening, traffic management, tasks assigning for subcommittees,  police forces and patrol strengthening, resolutely handling violations in order to restrict pickpockets and thief during the festival.

Dinh Co festival, which takes place only once per year, is one of the biggest festivals of fishermen at coastal regions of the South. Through the festival, people expressed their desire and belief about a peaceful and prosperous life in the year.

Manh Hien – Translated by T.T

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