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Thousands of pilgrims attend Chăm ethnic festival

Update: April, 27/2019 - 11:57
Chăm ethnic people bring offerings to the Ponagar Tower Festival from April 24 to 27. Photo Khánh An

HÀ NỘI — Thousands of people have been flocking to the traditional Tháp Bà (Ponagar) Tower Festival in Nha Trang in the central province of Khánh Hòa.

The festival, which finishes today, has featured a palanquin procession, paper lanterns and worshiping ceremonies.

Over 100 groups of pilgrims had registered to attend the incense, according to Nguyễn Tuấn Dũng, deputy-director of the Khánh Hòa Relic Conservation Centre.

“The organisers have offered free vegetarian food for two days,” Dũng said. 

About 5,000 Chăm people from the southern province of Ninh Thuận are estimated to have attended the festival.

Ponagar Festival is a spiritual cultural event to commemorate Goddess Thiên Y Ana Thánh Mẫu.

The Goddess is seen as the mother of the Chăm people who teaches them how to cultivate and raise animals, as well as weaving.

A ceremony to replace the Goddess’s dress is one of the  main events at the festival. The old dress and hat are removed and the statue of the Goddess is washed in herbal water, before a new dress adorns the 'mother'.

“We came here to pray for our business and a good education for our children,” said Nguyễn Thị Bích Thuần from the southern province of Bình Thuận.

“Visitors make sincere offerings to the Goddess. The organisers have also helped pilgrims to participate in the festival activities."

Located in Vĩnh Phước Ward, Ponagar Tower is used to refer to the temple complex, but is actually the name of the highest tower which stands at 23m. — VNS

 

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