Cham people celebrate Kate festival in Ninh Thuan
Thousands of Cham people in the central province of Ninh Thuan on October 7 attended Kate festival, the biggest annual festival of Cham people who are Balamon followers, at Poklong Giarai tower.
Ninh Thuan province has nearly 70,000 Cham people, including around 40,000 Balamon followers.
Poklong Giarai is a group of Cham temple towers which was built in honor of the legendary king Po Klaung Garai, who ruled Champa from c.1285 to 1307 A.D.
The towers were constructed during the early 14th century during the reign of King Jaya Simhavarman III, and are thus classified as belonging to the Pô Klông Garai or Late style of Cham architecture (14th-17th centuries).
The complex was built on the site of an earlier temple and originally comprised six towers: a main tower at the centre and five lesser towers, all facing eastward. However, the two towers in the south west and north east respectively have long since fallen into ruin. The main tower was dedicated to revered local King Pô Klông who, according to legend, won a contest with Prince Pô Đam to see who could construct a temple in the shortest time.
All four remaining towers were extensively renovated by Polish conservation agency PKZ in the period 1981-1990 and are now in the care of local experts. Particularly noteworthy are the central kalan, with its intricate decoration and elegant roof towers, and the mandapa, with its horse-saddle shaped roof. During numerous excavations at the site a number of gold and silver bowls have been found. Each year during the 8th and 9th lunar months (September-October) this temple complex is one of the most important venues for the ceremonies of the Kate (Chăm New Year) Festival.
The Kate festival in photos: