The Bà Chúa Xứ (Regional Goddess) Festival, also called worshiping Goddess festival, is held annually from 23rd to 27th of the fourth lunar month at Bà Chúa Xứ temple in Nui Sam ward (former Vinh Te commune) Chau Doc city, An Giang province. Bà Chúa Xứ temple, located at the foot of Sam mountain, is an important historical, architectural and spiritual heritage of An Giang province and in the region, attracting more than 2 million visitors each year. Bà Chúa Xứ Festival was recognized as the national festival by the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism in 2001.
Bà Chúa Xứ temple
In the beginning Bà Chúa Xứ temple was simply constructed with bamboo and leaves at a sunken land West of Sam mountain, with its back against the mountain. In 1870 the temple was built with bricks and again renovated in 1962 with stone and double tiles. It was enlarged in 1965 with fence erected round the main worshiping facility. The temple was greatly upgraded in 1972 until its completion in 1976, making its present features. Architecture of the temple has a shape of a tower with three stories and three -level roof. Inside the temple there is a main worshipping altar with a statue of the Regional Goddess. Skillful decorations inside the temple bear Indian artistic traits.
Inside the Bà Chúa Xứ temple
On the night of 23rd of the fourth lunar year, rituals for bathing the statue of Regional Goddess and changing her clothes were performed. The festival continues with traditional rituals and performance of folk arts in the 24th and 25th. The main ritual of the festival starts at 4 a.m. on 26th with offerings of flowers, sticky rice, fruits,… to the Regional Goddess.
Display of precious offerings to the Regional Goddess
Every year, the worshiping Goddess festival attracts large numbers of visitors coming to enjoy the performance of folk arts and pray for prosperity. This festival shows rich national traditional characteristics, especially the Southern cultural features, and contributes to meet cultural and spiritual needs of the people./.