Thousands of pilgrims attend Ponagar Temple Festival

The Ponagar Temple Festival was held recently in Nha Trang city in central Khanh Hoa province, to pay tribute to Goddess Thien Y A Na - Holy Mother of the Cham ethnic minority community in the central region who, according to Cham legend, taught local people how to cultivate crops and make handicrafts.

Thousands of Cham people from Khanh Hoa and nearby Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, and Gia Lai provinces flocked to the traditional Ponagar Temple Festival to make offerings to Goddess Thien Y A Na and to pray for peace and good weather for the harvest.

A wide range of activities were held, including a ceremony to replace the Goddess’s dress and bathe her statue in herbal water, as well as an incense offering ceremony, among others. In addition, the festival also featured an array of cultural events, such as tuồng (classical opera) performances, Cham dancing, and exhibitions of weaving and pottery-making.

Ponagar Temple, built more than 1,200 years ago, is an architectural work typical of the Cham aesthetic. It was recognised as a national historical relic site in 1979 and as a national intangible heritage in 2012./.