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In Ninh Thuận's Chăm Community, a Joyous Celebration of Katê, the Year's Most Important Festival

The Katê festival is the oldest and most unique festival of the Chăm ethnic minority and has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage by Vietnam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2017.

Falling on the first day of the seventh month of the Chăm calendar, the Katê Festival is the opportunity for members of the community to commemorate their heroes, pay their respect to their gods and ancestors and pray for favorable weather and crops for the coming year. For visitors between October 23 and 25, it is a unique chance to explore the beauty of Chăm culture, including architecture, costumes, instruments and traditional songs and dances.

Po Klong Garai, one of the three Champa towers where the main ceremony is held, seen from above.

The festival begins at the three Chăm towers in Ninh Thuận Province — Po Klaung Yăgrai, Po Rome, Po Inư Nagar — with processions of costumes, the opening of the tower doors and religious, cultural and traditional rituals. On the following day, the festival continues in local villages, where families begin to hold their own rites.

Vietnam's Chăm population includes followers of Islam and Brahmanism (Bà La Môn). Ninh Thuận is home to more than 53,700 Cham Brahman people

Take a look at the photos below to see how the important festival is celebrated:

Ritual consisting of bringing the clothes of the Po Inu Nugar goddess — Holy Mother of Chăm community — from her shrine to the temple.

At the beginning of the festival, the dignitaries and Chăm participants hold a ritual to receive the clothes of the Po Inu Nugar goddess and perform religious rites.

The Chăm dignitaries lead the procession dressed as the “king god” Po Klong Garai (left) and praying for health and prosperity (right).

It's not an exciting day for everyone.

The Brahman Chăm people present offerings to the gods.

Chăm women perform traditional dances.

Stage fright incoming.

Let's not forget the traditional selfie after the ceremony.

Large crowds gather to watch the meticulously planned performances.

Colorful Chăm traditional dances.

Drum performance.

Behind the scenes.

The festival is a good way to earn a little extra money.

Happy festival attendees.

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