Ponagar tower (Source: VNA)
Khanh Hoa (VNA) – The annual Ponagar Festival, the biggest of its kind in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, opened in Nha Trang city on April 27 (the 21st day of the third lunar month), drawing a crowd of pilgrims from the surrounding provinces.

The three-day event commemorates Goddess Ponagar or Thien Y A Na – Holy Mother of the Cham community in the central region, who is believed to have taught the locals to grow rice, raise silkworms and weave fabric.

Rituals such as a requiem and the release of floating flower candles will be accompanied by a ceremony to pray for peace, happiness and prosperity for the nation, with cultural activities honouring the spiritual life of the ethnic people in the southern central region.

A 1,200 year old tower dedicated to Ponagar, built using a unique Cham technique, was recognised as a national historical relic site in 1979.

In 2012, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism named the Ponargar festival a national intangible heritage.-VNA