The 2013 Goddess Ponagar Festival opened in Nha Trang city, central Khanh Hoa province on April 30 (or the 21 st day of the third lunar month), attracting ten of thousands of pilgrims from surrounding provinces.
The annual event is held to commemorate the Goddess Thien Y A Na – Holy Mother of the Cham community in the central region, who, according to Cham legend, taught the local people to cultivate and make handicrafts.
Taking place until May 2, the festival involves numerous spiritual rituals and cultural activities, including a requiem and flower floating, ceremonies to pray for peace, happiness and prosperity, as well as dancing, singing and the acting out of old stories.
On this occasion, Khanh Hoa province will announce a decision made by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism late last year reognising the festival as a national intangible festival heritage.
The 1,200-year-old Ponagar tower, built using a unique Cham technique, was recognised as a national historical relic site in 1979.-VNA