Preserving features of Ponagar Temple Festival

Wednesday, 23/02/2022, 22:51 [GMT+7]

Preserving features of Ponagar Temple Festival

Ponagar Temple Festival bears the cultural colors of Kinh people and Cham people. Khanh Hoa Provincial Department of Culture and Sports is completing a document about documenting the rituals and practices of the festival. 
 
Ponagar Temple Festival is one of the very few traditional festivals that clearly show the unique intercultural exchange about Thien Y A Na Holy Mother worship. It is one of the largest traditional festivals in the regions of south central and highlands. Over many periods of time, people in Khanh Hoa have still preserved and practiced the worship. Many cultural researchers in the country, when learning about Ponagar Temple Festival, highly appreciate the practice of the rituals during the festival.
 
 
Ponagar Temple (Photo: Van Thanh Chau)
Ponagar Temple (Photo: Van Thanh Chau)
 
Ponagar Temple Festival takes place at Ponagar Temple, Nha Trang City from lunar March 20 to 23 every year. The festival is organized solemnly with nine rituals such as opening ritual, changing clothes and cleaning statues ritual, and lantern releasing on the Cai River ritual. Each ritual includes acts which are carried out in a specific order and time. The rituals and acts are performed based on the actual organization of the festival over years as well as the knowledge and opinions of cultural researchers and local people.
 
The practice of the rituals of Ponagar Temple Festival and the worship of the Holy Mother at Ponagar Temple for many years have met the spiritual and religious needs of people in and outside the province. The organization of the festival has also complied with the regulations of the State. The Ponagar Temple Festival rituals reflect the intercultural exchange of Cham culture and Vietnamese culture which is closely connected with the development of Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa. As said by Le Van Hoa, deputy director of the provincial Department of Culture and Sports, documenting the practice of Ponagar Temple Festival rituals aims to make a generalization about the worship at the temple. The documentation will help to preserve exactly the features of the festival, avoiding misunderstanding and practicing the rituals in wrong ways in the future.  
 
In the document, the organization board will also be regulated. The documentation will also help to facilitate the management of the festival. Based on the consultation with the cultural researchers in Khanh Hoa and some other localities, the provincial Department of Culture and Sports will adjust the rituals so that they will be more perfect and suitable for the attendees. The performances of the specific rituals regulated in the document will make it more convenient for local people and tourists when attending the festival.
 
 
Giang Dinh
Translated by H.N