Once a year, for five days, between April and June (various dates from the 23rd to the 27th of the fourth lunar month), the festival for the local tutelary goddess takes place in Ba Chua Xu temple in Chau Doc. The ferstival is also called the Via Ba ceremony. It is known, among the believers, that all the wishes of the person who serves the goddess with incense will come true. Thus, during the festival’s days, thousands of believers stream in masses to the temple to participate in the impressive ceremonies.
The first one is the Ba Chua washing rite; first, two big candles are lighting at the goddess foot, it is served with tea and wine, joss sticks are burned and the participants pray. Then, a group of 4 women, who were chosen previously for the holy duty, open the curtain and start the washing ceremony. On its end, the women change the statue’s gown with a new one and put a hat on its head. At the end of the ceremony, that last for an hour, the pray begins. The believers ask the goddess for fulfillment of their wishes. The second ceremony is the Present ceremony Tuc Yet rite.
The third ceremony is called Xay chau, where holy water is spread on the altar’s corners and drums are put around. The chief of protocol hits the drum three times as a sign to the start of the “hat boi performance” (classical opera). The fourth ceremony is the Chanh te which is similar to the second ceremony the Tuc Yet rite. During the festival’s days, lot of traditional culture events (such as unicorn dance - a dance with dishes and cups) takes place.
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