Cham people in Ninh Thuan celebrate Rija festival
Update: Apr 25, 2015
The Cham people in central Ninh Thuan Province, on April 23, began the traditional Rijia festival which is held annually on the occasion of their traditional New Year to pray for favourable weather conditions and bumper crops.

On the occasion, Rija Nagar which is considered the most important rituals of the Rija festival will be performed by the Cham community in each village on the fifth and sixth days.

Worship offerings include chickens (on the fifth day) and goats (on the sixth day), along with other local specialities such as rice, bananas, coconuts, popcorn, alcohol, eggs and candles.

When the beat of the drum is heard and the clarinet sounds, a shaman (the previous person in the village) will perform the ceremony, which includes folk dances and singing, to express the villagers’ aspirations for a peaceful year and healthy crops.

In addition to Rija Nagar, other rituals are celebrated according to each family and a wide variety of cultural and sporting activities are held throughout the festival.

The festival significantly contributes to promoting the solidarity among villages of the Cham community in the province.

This year, the Rija festival takes place on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of National Reunification Day (April 30) so it is expected to attract scores of domestic and foreign visitors.