Cham Bani people celebrate new year
Update: Jul 23, 2012
Ethnic Cham Bani people living in the central province of Binh Thuan are celebrating their new year with the traditional Ramuwan festival, which started on July 18.

It's the biggest festival for the Islamic community in Vietnam, and the one-month celebration includes several traditional rituals such as praying ceremonies and traditional activities like cleaning and decorating ancestors' graves.

Among the solemn rituals, the nao ghur is the most important and involves people paying their respects to dead relatives by praying and carefully cleaning their graves. The Cham Bani people believe that this ritual is a type of pilgrimage to their ancestors.

According to Khe Thanh Mai, head of Lam Giang Hamlet in Ham Tri Commune, Ham Thuan Bac District, thanks to this year's bumper crop, the local Cham Bani community are well prepared for the new year celebration.

During the Ramuwan, in addition to ritualistic ceremonies, other activities include sports and other competitions along with folk music performances that attract thousands of local people as well as tourists.

Binh Thuan province is home to more than 15,000 ethnic Cham Bani people.