Every year, in early July on the Cham calendar (about between late September and early October on the Solar calendar), Kate Festival of Cham people happens in Ninh Thuan. The festival has the cultural color of Hindu, Islam and native. It aims to memorize the ancestor and the national heroes whom people honor being gods.
Kate Festival in Ninh Thuan occurs in 3 towers at the same time. The ceremonies are the same tenor and way. The festival lasts 3 days: the first day happens in the towers, the second day happens in the villages and the third day happens at homes.
The festival in the towers:
Leading the ceremony at the tower is a priest. The ceremonies are carried out in succession as follows:
– The first is the ceremony welcoming clothes of Po Ina Nagar goddess to towers. The ceremony starts at seven in the morning.
– The next is the ceremony opening the doors at the 3 towers including of Po Nagar Tower (Huu Phuoc Hamlet, Phuoc Huu Commune, Ninh Phuoc District), Po Klong Garai (Do Vinh Ward, Phan Rang City) Po Rome (Hau Sanh Hamlet, Phuoc Huu Commune, Ninh Phuoc District).
– The final is the ceremony bathing god statues, the ceremony getting dress for god statues and the major ceremony. The major ceremony begins at 11o’clock in the morning.
All the ceremonies are carried out in according to with traditional way and solemnly. After the ceremony on the towers is the ceremony at the village.
The festival at the villages:
The ceremony is organized at the temple of the village. Leading the ceremony at the village is not a monk, but an old man respected by the villagers. The ceremony at the village is also organized solemnly the same as at the towers. Besides the ceremony, village organizes communal activities such as cloth weaving competing, water wearing competing, football playing, singing and dancing. Fishing Kate Festival is Kate festival at homes.
Kate Festival at home:
Leading the ceremony at home is grandparents. In this day, every member in the family is present in full numbers to pray to ancestor and gods for having a peaceful and comfortable life. The Grandparents tell folktales to their Children and grandchildren.
Kate festival is one of the most famous traditional folk festivals in Central Vietnam. If you have a chance to travel to Ninh Thuan Province, do not forget to join this festival.