54 Ethnic groups - List of Ethnic groups - Cham - Festival

11:32 | 21/11/2012

Kate festival of the Cham

(LVH) - Kate Festival is the biggest festival of the Cham, held annually in July of Cham calendar, equivalent to about 25 September to 5 October of Solar calendar to worship the gods as Po Klong Garai, Po Pome... The festival usually takes place in 3 days, respectively from the temple to the village then to each Cham family to organize the worship. The festival brings many contradictory elements of the dual structure: colors, rituals, festivals such as male - female, day - night, dark and light ... all also express the desire of fertility in couple linking, praying for the proliferation of human, animal and lush crop of the Cham.

Kate Festival - the biggest festival of the Cham

Kate Festival consists of two parts: the ceremony and the festival. The ceremony includes the ritual as costume welcome ceremony, tower opening ceremony, statue bathing ceremony and great ceremony. One day before the official ceremony took place in the temples, Cham people celebrate the costume welcome ceremony from Raglai people at Po Nugar Temple. According to legend, Raglai people are the youngest brother of Cham people who are responsible for maintaining costume in order that each year to give back to the Cham. In Kate festivals, Raglai people also attend with special dances to offer to gods.
On the second day, the ceremony takes place at the Po Klong Garai tower on Trau hill top under Do Vinh ward and Po Rome temple on the hill "Bon acho" in Hau Sanh village, Phuoc Huu Commune, Ninh Thuan province. In this ceremony, the Cham will implement the ritual of bathing and wearing costume for the king. This is the most mysterious ritual taking place inside the tower. The leading monk and the other monk from the mid of tower to implement the tower opening ceremony then the group including monks, magic woman, a man pulling the Kanhi guitar and the faithful believers steps in the tower. The leading monk takes the bottle of holy water mixed with incense to sprinkle god status (statues made of stone is under the form of Mukhalinga – linga human face form.)
Then costume wearing ceremony for kings takes place under the singing words of a man pulling Kanhi guitar. When this man ends the first song, both monks and magic woman finish dressing for the king. Then, luxurious costume is dressed up god statue in the song lyrics. Ritual of bathing and dressing for the king is implemented respectfully and spiritually. People are allowed to bath for the king, take water remaining on god statue to apply on their head for good luck and health. The man pulling Kanhi guitar is a pacemaker for the ceremony, each song also brings a sense of belief and ancestor worship. When the sacred dance in the temple ends, outside the tower, the festival begins with the Gi Nang drums and Saranai mixed with folk songs and dances of the Cham. 

The Cham with Kate festival

On the evening of the 2nd day, festival at the Cham temples ends and then is Kate festival in the village and each family. At the Cham village, carnival atmosphere again illuminates, however with smaller scale and simpler rituals. During this time, only the family with good economic conditions organizes, in case of difficult economic conditions, each family may appoint one household for the organization. Owner of Kate ceremony is one family member or the elders in the clan. At this festival, all the family members are fully present to worship ancestor and gods blessing for children with thriving, avoiding risks, having much luck in life. This is an opportunity for grandparent and parent to educate for future generations with gratitude and respect to ancestors. In this occasion, every family prepares girdle-cakes to invite relatives, friends to visit and celebrate together.

On the third day, festival is held in the village of My Nghiep under Phuoc Dan town, Ninh Phuoc District. My Nghiep village owns the name in Cham language as Caklaing, according to legend, it is the birthplace of the Cham King of Po Klong Garai. The village also has a famous traditional craft weaving with long development history. In Kate festival days, the Cham My Nghiep village also organizes the village god worshipping ceremony weaving patriarchs and ancestors. During the festival, they organize many games such as weaving competition, the water carrying, football playing, singing ...


Sing and dance in festival


Kate Festival is held for 3 days and can prolong in order that the Cham has more fun prays for a lush crop. It can be said that Kate festival is the occasion for the Cham to introduce their group’s cultural features, to give participants the beauty of the ancient Cham Towers, the product of rice farming and sailing through offering gifts, besides to perform in public a background of folk songs, dances and music which is rich in typical characters.

M.Huyen (Source: dulichvietnam.vn)






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