Pilgrims flood Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival

Published:  20:54 Wednesday - December 29, 2010 A pilgrimage to Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival will help you to experience the local culture. It is a very colorful and attractive festival attended by people from all over Vietnam and is surely a treat for the tourists.
Pilgrims flood Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival
BaChua Xu Temple was built in 1820, at the foot of Sam Mountain, Vinh TeCommune, Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province. Ba Chua Xu Temple isconstructed according to the Chinese character "quoc", has 4 squareroofs, roofed with blue pile-shaped tiles. According to a legend, inthe early 1800s, villagers found a statue of a lady dating to the 6thcentury in the forest. They built a temple in her honour, hoping thatshe would bring them better crops and better lives. This is why themarble statue of Ba Chua Xu, meaning "country lady" is worshipped. Inthe festival, worshippers touch her statue and ask for her protectionand benediction. 

Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival is the biggest folk festivity of Southern Vietnam. The festival is held annually from the 23rd to the 27th of the fourth lunar month with the ceremonies as follows:

The statue of Ba Chua Xu washing rite

Pilgrims flood Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival

Duringthe days of the festival, various rituals are performed. On the firstnight, the statue of Ba Chua is bathed in perfumed water and she isalso made to wear fresh robes for the occasion. Then Ba Chua’sdiscarded garments are cut into little bits and handed out among theworshippers. These are considered lucky charms to keep the possessor ingood health and drive away evil spirits.

Tuc Yet rite

Tue Yet Rite commences after the ceremony of washing. During this ritual of the Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival,the worshippers appeal for Ba Chua’s recommendations to the heaven. Agrand parade of dragon dance is presented along with it and is followedby a chanting ritual in Ba Chua’s temple. Lastly the Duc Boi rite isperformed by a man from the village, who sings aloud for the well beingof the country and mankind.

Participantsdressed in smart traditional costumes stand on the two sides and themaster of ceremonies stands in front of the statue of Ba Chua. Theofferings include a white pig, a dish of pig's blood and a little hair,called mao huyet, a tray of sticky rice, a tray of fruits, a tray ofareca and betel, a dish of rice and salt, which are place on a tablebefore the statue. The master of ceremonies and notables burn incense on the altar.

Pilgrims flood Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival

The festival at night

Xay Chau rite

TheXay Chau rite is performed after the Tuc Yet rite. In order to preparefor this rite, people replace the table before the altar with a drum. Themaster of ceremonies holds two drumsticks and says his prayers beforethe altar. After that, he dips a branch of willow into a water bowl onthe left of the altar, and sprinkles water on the floor. When hefinishes the ritual, he put the bowl and the willow branch on thealtar, and beats three salvos of drumbeat to begin the hat boi(classical opera) performance.

Chanh Te rite

TheChanh Te rite takes place at 4 a.m of the 26th with the rituals similarto Tuc Yet rite. On the afternoon of the 27th day, the four tablets arebrought back to Thoai Ngoc Hau Mausoleum, marking the end of thefestival.

Moreover,during the festival days, many traditional cultural activities areorganised, including unicorn dance, dance with dishes and cups. BaChua Xu Temple Festival is rich in the national identity and thesouthern colours. Peace and tranquility, Ba Chua Xu Temple is one of the major religious sites in the Mekong Delta and attracts thousands of travellerswho are flocking to An Giang Province to experience the one weekfestival and ask the famous goddess of wealth for a prosperous life.

The traditional trip to Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival is to create a peaceful and contented atmosphere for pilgrims, who will light incense sticks for good health and good luck.
 
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