Cultural life in BR-VT has long been a combination and harmony of many factors from many regions. Through years of changes in history, BR-VT in general and Vung Tau City in particular has maintained its traditional values that are founded by sea culture factors and typical local cultures. Historical changes have also left their imprints on the local culture.
For years ago, people in the land have lived on fishery. They have had to wander many days on the sea so there are festivals related to their marine life. Besides worshiping Chenghuang and other folklore gods as other country areas do, worshiping whales and other gods in fields of agriculture, trade and of other races is also common.
Nghinh Ong Festival is held annually on August 16-18 of the lunar year on a large scale. The festival is associated with special musical activities as ba trao singing (rowing-boat singing) and forms traditional Vietnamese plays. Nghinh Ong Festival is a chance to show respects and gratitude to gods of the sea. The ritual has some mixtures between traditional royal court and temples.
There are festivals of Saint Tran Death Anniversary, Shrine of Lady of Five Elements, the Double Ninth… These festivals have been maintained through many festivals. After the ceremonies, people and tourists can have chances to entertain themselves with diversified musical and sports activities.
Showing gratitude to the hero of the country- Saint Tran, on August 20 (of lunar year), a ceremony is held annually in Vung Tau City. The ceremony has many rituals that have been preserved through many generations. Besides, the shrine of Lady of Five Elements (located on the left of the monument of Thang Tam Village’s god temple) is a tourist attraction. Many worshipping ceremonies are held in a year. The biggest one is from 16 to 18 of October (lunar year) and it attracts many tourists to the place.
The Double Ninth Festival is held annually on the nights of 8 and 9 of August (lunar year) to wish everyone good health. The festival has been held for many years by people of Ong Tran Religion. They gather together annually to remember Ong Tran’s merits and to pray for peaceful prosperous country. The ceremony is held in dignified manner- showing the cultural feature of the religion. The festival is held at the Long House in Long Son Island Commune, Vung Tau City.
Vung Tau has become a modern coastal city for a long time, although there are still fishing villages by the sea. Coming to Ben Da- Ben Dinh early in mornings, you can find rustic, soulful daily activities of the fishermen here. Fishermen spreading their nets to catch fish; boats going out to the far sea; some other returning with their catch. And there are also smiles welcoming them home.
Lives of people in the coastal of BR-VT have been better off. And the sea has always been a great part of their lives from the time of childhood to the time of their old age. Coming to BR-VT and having talks with the residents here or doing their daily works with them, it is sure that you will love the land here more and more.
It is obvious that BR-VT and Vung Tau City have rich cultural life. There are special features of the Southeastern region that other surrounding areas do not have or they are not typical in these places: cultural features relating to sea cultures and factors of geo-culture.
Culture is identified as one of the factors that determine the strength and position of a nation. BR-VT in general, Vung Tau City in particular, has been implementing many cultural development programs, striving to make it a marine tourism city with sustainable development.