Fishermen held a funeral for a 7-ton whale found dead 60 nautical miles off the central Vietnam coast, local officials said Monday, DPA reported.
"Fishermen conducted the burial on Sunday in accordance with traditional rituals intended for the whale," said Nguyen Thi Kim Yen, deputy chairman of a village committee in Phan Rang Thap Cham.
"We consider whales to be friendly and respected creatures which always help us at sea," he said.
The whale was discovered floating off the coast of Ninh Thuan province by fisherman Tran Minh Vu Friday.
Adhering to local customs, he called other fishermen to help tow the dead mammal ashore. The whale measured 18 metres, Vu said.
Thousands of people attended the ceremony Sunday and prayed for the whale to bring them luck.
According to tradition, the remains are exhumed three years after burial and brought to the local whale temple for worship.
Beached whales appear every year in the south-central provinces of Vietnam where they are believed to bring good luck to fishermen. There are many whale temples along the south-central coast.