Kate Festival

Time: 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: Po Inu Nagar Temple, Po Klong Garai Tower, Po Rome Tower (Ninh Thuan Province)
Objects of worship: Goddess Po Inu Nagar, King Po Klong Garai and King Po Rome.
Characteristics: Ritual of the Cham people.

Kate festivalsKate Festival is the most unique festival of the Cham people. It associates with ancient towers where values of Cham culture are stored and other cultural aspects such as offerings, costumes, music instruments and hymns praising kings who made great service to the Champa Kingdom and Cham people. The festival is also an occasion for the participants to enjoy traditional arts performances of Cham people such as Apsara dance, Ginang and Paranung drum-beat, Saranai trump…

The first day is for the ritual of receiving Goddess Po Inu Nagar’s costume at Po Inu Nagar Temple in Huu Duc Hamlet, Phuoc Huu Commune, Ninh Phuoc District. Legend has it that Ra Glai people are Cham people’s brother. Whenever upheavals come, kings of Cham people leave their country to seek refuge and commit their royal costumes to the Ra Glai people. Therefore, at the Kate Festival every year, the Cham people have to do a ritual to welcome and receive the costumes from the Ra Glai people. In the afternoon, the Ra Glai people in Tra No Hamlet, Phuoc Ha Commune, Thuan Nam District, Ninh Thuan Province bring costume of Goddess Po Inu Nagar to Cham people. The ritual of receiving Goddess Po Inu Nagar’s costume is held first because Cham people consider Po Inu Nagar as ancestress of the Cham people. She taught local people to grow rice, plant cotton, weave clothing…

The second day (main festival day) is for Kate Festival at Po Inu Nagar Temple, Po Klong Garai Tower and Po Rome Tower. The festival takes place in three areas at the same time. In the early morning, the Ra Glai people in Phuoc Dong Hamlet, Phuoc Hau Commune, Ninh Phuoc District arrive at Po Klong Garai Tower in Do Vinh Ward, Phan Rang – Thap Cham City to hand King Po Klong Garai’s costume over to the Cham people. When the procession arrives at the tower, a group of dancers will perform a welcome dance in front of the tower. After that, the ritual to ask permission of God Siva to open tower’s door is held. The offerings include wine, egg, betel and areca, water mixed with aloe wood. The following rituals are bath and wear for the statue of King Po Klong Garai. Finally, a man (Kadhar) sings hymns to invite over 20 gods to attend great ritual. At the same time, participants pray the gods for health, happiness, abundant crop… The great ritual ends with a dance of ba bong (Muk Payâu).

The similar rituals are also held at Po Inu Nagar Temple and Po Rome Tower in Hau Sanh Hamlet, Phuoc Huu Commune, Ninh Phuoc District.

The third day is for Kate Festival at Cham villages. Each Cham village worships its own God. In the morning, the ritual of worshipping God is held to pray for health, happiness, abundant crop… The offerings include 2 chickens, 5 trays of food, banh tet (cylindrical glutinous rice cake), fruits… During the festival, many cultural activities and games are held, such as competitions of weaving, carrying water jar on one’s head, football, singing…