Cham People in Binh Thuan Province Celebrate Kate Festival

Kate festival this year in Ninh Thuan attracts a large number of people and tourists to have fun as well as enjoy the traditional culture of the Cham people.
October 26, 2022 | 13:04

Thousands of local people and visitors along with Cham people celebrated the Kate festival, the most important event of the Cham ethnic group, which was held at the Po Sah Inu tower in Phan Thiet City in the south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan on October 25.

Cham people in traditional costumes flocked to Po Sah Inu tower, a national historic and cultural relic where ceremonies such as clothing procession, tower opening, Po Sah Inu Goddess costume carrying ceremony – an important ritual of the Kate Festival, and Linga-Yoni altar bathing rite took place with many religious rites.

Cham people In Binh Thuan Province Celebrate Kate Festival
Photo: baobinhthuan.com.vn.
Cham people In Binh Thuan Province Celebrate Kate Festival
Photo: baobinhthuan.com.vn.

Visitors to the event, which takes place from October 23-25 this year, can witness rituals such as the genie's costume procession, the opening of tower gates, and genie statue bathing. They also have a chance to enjoy performances of the local Gi Nang drum and Saranai horn.

Falling on the first day of the seventh month of the Cham calendar, as Vietnamplus reported, Kate is the biggest festival in the year of the Cham Brahman people. It reminds the ethnic Brahman community of their ancient gods and delivers wishes for bumper harvests and the growth of all beings.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Binh Thuan Province Nguyen Minh emphasized that the Kate festival plays an important role in the life, religious activity and beliefs of the ethnic communities, presenting their history, creation and existence.

The festival not only meets the spiritual and emotional needs of the Cham people but also contributes to promoting the culture and tourism of Binh Thuan to domestic and international tourists, he added.

According to SGGP News, it is a chance for local and international visitors to enjoy a unique folk event of the Cham people and discover the ethnic minority’s cultural features.

Mr. Nguyen Hoai Anh-deputy Secretary of the provincial Party Committee cum Chairman of the provincial People’s Council on October 24 led a delegation to pay visit and extend greetings to the Cham Brahman people in the communes of Phan Hiep and Phan Thanh - Bac Binh district on the occasion of the traditional Kate festival 2022.

Cham people In Binh Thuan Province Celebrate Kate Festival
Photo: baobinhthuan.com.vn.
Cham people In Binh Thuan Province Celebrate Kate Festival
Photo: nhandan.vn.

The delegation visited and congratulated families of the Cham dignitaries, the family of martyr Bo Xuan Hoi (Phan Hiep commune), the Cham royal families in Phan Thanh commune, along with the managing boards of hamlets Tinh My, Mai Lanh, and Tri Thai (Phan Thanh commune).

According to Binh Thuan Online, at visiting places, Mr. Nguyen Hoai Anh highly appreciated the significant role of the Cham dignitaries in the dissemination of policies and guidelines of the central and local governments among the Cham Brahman people. He acknowledged that the living conditions and income of many Cham households in Phan Hiep and Phan Thanh communes have gradually improved amid a lot of difficulties. Eventually, he warmly wished local people a joyful and peaceful Kate season.

On the same day, vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Minh also led a delegation of the Department of Internal Affairs and the office of the provincial People’s Committee to visit and present gifts to dignitaries and families of the Brahmanist followers in the Cham community in Phong Phu and Phu Lac communes (Tuy Phong district).

At the visiting places, vice Chairman Nguyen Minh lauded the contributions of Cham people to economic development in the locality. He also encouraged them to continuously implement the Party’s policies and the State’s laws, strengthen the great national solidarity bloc, and actively engage in socio-economic development in the locality. He urged the local authorities to keep on paying attention to giving support to poor households in ethnic minority areas to ensure sustainable poverty reduction; mobilize residents to join hands in building new-style rural areas by planting green trees to create a clean and green environment.

Cham people In Binh Thuan Province Celebrate Kate Festival
Photo: baoquocte.vn.
Cham people In Binh Thuan Province Celebrate Kate Festival
Photo: baobinhthuan.com.vn.

Mr. Minh also shared the joy with the Cham Brahman community in Binh Thuan as the Kate festival has been selected as a national intangible cultural heritage by Ministry of Culture-Sports and Tourism. This recognition has proved the Party and State’s care for the preservation and promotion of traditional cultural values of the Cham ethnic group, highlighting the pride and role of the Cham community in preserving and promoting specific characteristics of their traditional festivals. The delegation offered many gifts to the managing board of Tuy Tinh 2 hamlet, Po Nrop temple, and other dignitaries in Phu Lac commune. On that occasion, the Central Committee of Ethic Affairs granted 30 gifts portions (worth VND 15 million) to 30 poor households in Phu Lac commune.

On October 25th morning, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism observed a ceremony to announce the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Decision on Recognizing Binh Thuan’s Kate festival as a national intangible cultural heritage in Vietnam. The event took place at Po Sah Inu Cham tower in Phu Hai ward, Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan province.

With unique cultural and historic values and meanings, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on April 4th issued decision No. 776/QD-BVHTTDL to add the traditional Kate festival to the list of national intangible cultural heritage in Vietnam.

Over the last 15 years, the Kate Festival has been enacted at the Po Sah Inu Tower Complex in Phu Hai ward, Phan Thiet city. It has been selected as one of six festivals aimed at tourism development in the province. The festival is part of the Cham spiritual invocation, featured to introduce the local culture to Vietnamese and foreign visitors.
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