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Home | Vietnam | Vietnam Activities | Festival | Cham New Year
Cham New Year

The festival begins in the towers and mausoleums, and then moves to homes. Locally, it typically begins at the Cham Towers overlooking Phan Thiet. This Cham festival is an occasion to celebrate heroes and spirits (Po Nagar), kings of merit (Kings Po Klong Garai and Po Ro Me), and their people.

The Cham New Year (kate) is celebrated at the towers in the seventh month of the Cham calendar (around October in the Gregorian calendar). The festival commemorates ancestors. Cham national heroes and deities such as the goddess Po Ino Nagar, who assisted the Chams with their farming.

On the eve of the festival, a procession guarded by the mountain people of Tay Nguyen carries King Po Klong Garai's clothing to the accompaniment of traditional music. The procession lasts until midnight. The following morning the garments are carried to the tower, once again accompanied by music, along with banners, flags, singing and dancing. Notables, dignitaries and village elders follow behind. This colourful ceremony continues into the afternoon.
On this holiday, the Raglai people travel to the Highlands and celebrate together with the Cham people. During the Festival, there are offerings made to the genii, and hats and costumes are placed on statues. At the end of the ceremony, people recite poems, play music, and participate in other games and forms of entertainment. 

The celebrations then carry on for the rest of the month, as the Cham attend parties and visit friends and relatives. They also use this time to pray for good fortune.

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