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  Ponagar Temple Festival opens
The 2019 edition of Ponagar Temple Festival of Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province takes place from April 24 to 27 (lunar March 20 to 23) with numerous typical cultural activities relating to the ritual of worshipping Mother Goddesses.

On the occasion of the annually-held Ponagar Temple Festival, a large number of people in Khanh Hoa and pilgrims from the provinces and cities in the southern central and highland area visit Ponagar Temple to attend the ceremony. An estimated 100,000 people will visit the temple during the 2019 festival, according to Nguyen Tuan Dung, Deputy Director of Khanh Hoa Provincial Monument Preservation Center. Among the visitors are around 5,000 Cham people from Ninh Thuan Province. At present, about 100 groups of pilgrims with more than 3,000 people from many localities in Khanh Hoa and other provinces registered to take part in activities of the festival..

The Ponagar Temple Festival includes many traditional ceremonials, for example changing the Mother Goddess’s dress; releasing flower lights on Cai River; carrying palanquins across the streets; praying for peace and good things; offering incense to the Mother Goddess; singing traditional songs; performing ritual dance; playing folk games; performing techniques of fabric weaving and pottery making of Cham people, and so on.

In order to allow groups of visitors to enter the area of Le Mau, for many years, the Organizing Committee has carried out the directional distribution to main tower. The groups in turn were arranged to move orderly inside under the guidance of the Provincial Monuments Conservation Centre. After many years of implementing the directional distribution, it has stopped the jostling situation, pushing disorder. The yard area of Ponagar Tower monument has been installed with canvas with a total area of over 1,000m2 to cover the sun, especially for Cham people to perform the ritual worshiping according to the traditional custom.  

In the time of the 2019 Ponagar Temple Festival, the pilgrims can enjoy meals free of charge at the dining area of the temple. For Cham people, the cooking area is arranged separately to suit living habits. The Organizing Board also coordinate with the police, border guard and government of 2 wards: Vinh Phuoc and Vinh Tho ward to appoint regular forces to be on duty during the festival days to ensure security and safety. The work of receiving food is concerned, closely inspected origin under the supervision of functional units; The equipment system to preserve food to ensure hygiene is also equipped. The Organizing Board have printed the rules of festivals listed in the monument area, the loudspeaker system regularly informs people to make sure of security and environmental sanitation, as well as to mention High alert for theft, robbery also are equipped. In particular, issues such as begging, superstition are resolutely handled, not to arise during the festival.

The Ponagar Temple Festival 2019 is one of the cultural activities held to celebrate the Visit Vietnam Year (the national tourism year) 2019. “This is an event to acknowledge and raise the communities’ sense of responsibility in preserving and promoting the typical traditional cultural values of Khanh Hoa Province. The solemn ceremonials of the festival will help to present and introduce the local cultural characteristics to domestic and international tourists,” said Le Van Hoa, Deputy Director of Khanh Hoa Provincial Department of Culture and Sports.


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