Kate is the most special festival of Cham people in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. It associates with ancient towers where values of Cham cultural are stored and other cultural aspects such as offering, costumes, music instruments and hymns praising Kings who had great contributions to irrigation systems to the Champa Kingdom and Cham People.
The festival is also an occasion for local and international visitors who want to enjoy unique folk events of Cham nation and discover the ethnic minority’s cultural features as well as traditional Arts performances of Cham people, such as Apsara dance, Ginang and Paranung Drum- beat…
Cham’s Traditional Instruments and Dance
Time: Kate festival is held from the 30th day of the 6th month to 2nd day of the 7th month according to Cham calendar (around at the end of September and the beginning of October according to Solar calendar)
Place: Kate festival is celebrated at Po Klong Garai Tower which is located on Trau Hill.
Po Klong Garai Towers are on Trau Hill
Objects of worship: Goddess Po Inu Nagar, King Po Klong Garai and King Po Rome.
Characteristics: Ritual of the Cham people
The first day is the ritual of receiving Goddess Po Inu Nagar’s costume from Ra Glai people at Huu Duc Hamlet, Phuoc Huu Commune, Ninh Phuoc District. According to the legend, Ra Glai people are Cham people’s Brother. In the past, Kings of Cham people used to commit their royal costumes to the Ra Grai people. Therefore, at the Kate Festival every year, Cham people have to welcome and receive the costumes from the Ra Grai people by doing a ritual. The ritual of receiving Goddess Po Inu Nagar’s costumes is held first because it is very significant with Cham people. They suppose Po Inu Nagar as ancestress of the Cham people because she taught local Cham people how to grow rice, plant cotton, weaves clothing…
The ritual of receiving Goddess Po Inu Nagar’s costume from Ra Glai people
The second day (the main day of festival) is celebrated at Po Klong Garai Tower. In the early morning, the Cham people arrive at the Po Klong Garai Tower in Do Vinh Ward, Phan Rang Thap Cham City and gather together to do the ritual.
Cham people are on the way to Po Klong Garai Towers
On the way go to the Tower, a group of dancer will perform the traditional dance. After that, the ritual will be held in the main tower with lots of offerings, such as wine, chicken, egg, betel and areca, water mixed with aloe wood.
The statue of King Po Klong Garai are being bathed and worn
Then, the statue of King Po Klong Garai will be bathed and worn. Finally, hymns are sung by a man to invite over 20 Gods to attend the ritual. Meanwhile, participants pray the Gods for health, happiness and abundant Crop.
The third day is for Kate festival at Cham villages. Each Cham village worships its own God. Cham people make parties and gather with their families and friends.
Cham people also worship Gods and their ancestors at home
Besides, they will hold some traditional activities or competitions to relax, such as weaving, carrying water jar, football, singing…
Competitions and activities are held to relax