Celebrating the Kate Festival

Celebrating the Kate Festival

The Cham’s traditional Kate festival took place in Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan provinces with the typical traditional ceremonies and festive activities of their community.

 

The Kate festival not only meets the religious demands of Cham people, but has become a cultural trait, a unique local tourism event that attracts visitors from many places. The Kate festival not only meets the religious demands of Cham people, but has become a cultural trait, a unique local tourism event that attracts visitors from many places.

Kate is the most important festival of the Cham Brahman which is celebrated at the beginning of July (October of the solar calendar). The Kate festival this year was held at the Po Sah Inu tower relic in Phu Hai ward, Phan Thiet. The festival attracted numerous Cham living in Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan provinces as well as visitors from all over.

 

The ritual to open Po Sah Inu tower. Photo: Huu Thanh



Preparing offerings at the Po Sah Inu tower. Photo: Hoang Ha/VNP

Elder Thong Thi Nhay from Ma Lam, Ham Thuan Bac district said that every year, on the occasion of the Kate festival, she, her relatives and friends go to this tower to participate in activities for two days. At the foot of the Po Sah Inu tower, Nhay and her friends make traditional cakes as offerings at the temple. The image of Cham in their traditional costumes, carrying trays of offerings, walking to the temple and Po Sah Inu tower has become familiar during the Kate festival.

 

During the two days of the festival, many distinctive ceremonies took place at the Po Sah Inu tower such the genie's costume procession, the opening of the tower gates, and the genie statue bathing. Locals pay tribute to the gods and pray for favorable weather, bumper crops, and the development of people and all living things.

Visitors were fascinated by many of the folk art performances at the festival such as playing traditional instruments, Cham songs and dances, playing Saranai, the traditional costumes, making cakes, pounding rice and giving offerings. Folk melodies and dances were combined with the sounds of local Gi Nang drums and Saranai horns that made everything more exciting.

Many activities to introduce Cham culture such as pottery demonstration, brocade weaving and local food specialties, created vibrant, colorful and meaningful Kate festival 2022.

 

 

Thong Thai Bao, a student from the Binh Thuan Vocational College is very knowledgeable about the festival customs of his people. He was taking pictures and talking to visitors about the rituals at the festival. He said that he was very interested in learning more about the history and culture of the Cham. The festival is an opportunity for people to meet and express their feelings to their loved ones and also to have fun and entertain themselves after a year of study and hard work.

The Cham traditional Kate festival is listed as one of the 15 largest festivals in Vietnam by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. On the occasion of Kate festival 2022, the Binh Thuan Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Decision No. 776/QD-BVHTTDL to recognize the traditional Kate festival of the Cham in Binh Thuan province as a national intangible cultural heritage.

Story: Son Nghia/VNP - Photos: Nguyen Thang, Huu Thanh, Hoang Ha & Le Minh  - Translated by Song An


Top