Cham people in the central province of Binh Thuan paid on April 11 visits to ancestors’ graves as an ritual marking the beginning of Ramưwan – the traditional New Year of Bani Islamic Cham.
The grave visiting ritual is the most important activities of the Ramưwan and aims to express gratitude to their ancestors with worshipping offerings. Before the ritual, Cham people pick up grasses and clean the grave.
During the visit, the shaman, often called ‘Thay Char’ waters the graves for cleaning and purifying the relatives’ remains, recite worshipping and inviting ancestors to come their relatives’ home for new year gatherings.
The Ramưwan traditional new year is often great times for ancestral worshiping, family gatherings and celebrations in Cham villages.
Crossing Luy River to the cemetery of Cham people
The cemetery, known as Dong Do, located in Phan Ri Thanh commune in Binh Thuan’s Bac Binh district
Preparing worshipping offerings and traditional dresses
Tại đây, các gia đình bày biện đồ cúng, ngồi vòng tròn quanh mộ
After offering arrangement, people sit around the graves for worshiping rites
Offerings are often as simply as fresh water, betel and areca, cigarettes candies, etc
Performing worshipping rituals at ancestors’ graves