Am Chua Festival 2021 held solemnly and complying with COVID-19 regulations

Thursday, 15/04/2021, 11:10 [GMT+7]

Am Chua Festival 2021 held solemnly and complying with COVID-19 regulations

From April 12 to 14 (lunar March 1-3) every year, people from many places in Khanh Hoa Province and other localities flock to Am Chua Monument on Dai An Mountain (Dien Dien Commune, Dien Khanh District) to attend Am Chua Festival. This year, the festival is organized at a smaller scale compared to the previous years due to COVID-19 but still with solemn and respectful arrangements.
 
Reducing scale
 
During the time of Am Chua Festival, Huong Lo 5 route leading to Am Chua Monument is always bustling with pilgrims making a pilgrimage to the monument to pay their tribute to Thien Y A Na Holy Mother, who is believed to descend on earth and teach local people farming and weaving and protect their life. The pilgrims often carry with them offerings that are the products they make. “I bring flowers, fruit, betel and areca to offer to the Holy Mother. We pilgrims come to the monument just to express our respect to the Holy Mother and pray for our families and relatives,” said Nguyen Thi Tinh, a pilgrim from Quy Nhon City.
 
Last year, Am Chua Festival had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, many people have been excited that the 2021 festival can be organized. Nguyen Thi Mau, head of group of pilgrims from Dien Khanh District, Khanh Hoa, said that although the festival’s scale is smaller, she and her group members are very happy that they can come to Am Chua Monument to pay tribute to Thien Y A Na Holy Mother.
 
 
Pilgrims offering sacrifice to Thien Y A Na Holy Mother
Pilgrims offering sacrifice to Thien Y A Na Holy Mother
 
According to the estimate of the organizers, there are about 6,000 people in and outside the province attending Am Chua Festival 2021. The festival still includes solemn ceremonial acts such as incense and flower offering, ancient ritual acts performed by the local patriarchs. Besides, there are ritual acts of the groups of pilgrims. “Organizing this year’s festival, in addition to ensuring security and safety for the attendees, we have to comply with the regulations on COVID-19 control and prevention. Therefore, we decided to reduce the time for incense offering to 15 minutes for each group and not to set up eating and resting section for pilgrims as the previous years. We strictly follow the recommendations of the health sector about COVID-19 prevention and control,” Phan Van Thuan, chairman of Dien Dien Commune People's Committee.
 
Opening event of series of activities
 
Am Chua Festival 2021 is the first event of the series of activities revolving around the theme Thien Y A Na Holy Mother planned to take place in April and May. With 24 activities of different scales, this series of activities is a positive move to connect cultural activities with tourism stimulus.
 
According to Nguyen Thanh Ha, director of Khanh Hoa Provincial Department of Culture and Sports, organizing Am Chua Festival 2021 while still ensuring the precautionary measures against COVID-19 pandemic is meaningful work. Although the festival has a big reduction of festive activities, the rituals have still been carried out solemnly in accordance with the tradition. Following the festival, there will be more than 20 other activities to take place. The department has widely publicized these activities through many tourism companies in and outside the province. Hopefully, the series of activities about Thien Y A Na Holy Mother will help to promote the values of this traditional religious belief.
 
Giang Đinh
Translated by H.N