For Cham people in An Giang Province, Ramanda Festival is one of the most important festivals in the year. It is such a unique and colorful of Muslim followers in Mekong Delta.
Ramadan Festival in An Giang
Ramanda Festival takes place in the 9th month in calendar of Muslism. According to regulation of Muslim followers, during the Ramadan ceremony, Cham people are not allowed to eat anything from the sunrise to the sunset. In Cham people’s belief, fasting is one kind of actions to show their sympathy with unlucky people living in shortage of food and clothes. In addition, fasting is a time for training people overcome physical temptation and live graciously.
In every Cham village, there is a chancel for people to gather and pray. These chancels may be big or small based on the scale of different village; however, they are all beautifully decorated. These chancels have the same architecture with symbols of the sun and crescent moon. The characterized sign of Muslim also represents in these chancels with domed door for better reception of sunlight and wholly painted in white.
Through out Ramadan Festival, there are many art performances, traditional games and community activities. In the opening ceremony, Cham people in traditional costumes: white kerchief and a big bunch of flower on their hand walk to the chancel. After some sacred rituals according to the regulation, there are some community activities such as: performing traditional Cham singing and dancing, cuisine festival, playing traditional games, imitating Cham’s wedding ceremony and boat race.
Cham people in An Giang are all friendly and hospitable. They warmly welcome customers coming to Ramanda festival and even invite guests to stay overnight. However, you will not be served with food during the daytime on Ramanday Festival’s first day.
Coming to An Giang and joining into Ramanda Festival of Cham people, tourists will have chance to explore spiritual and religious life of locals, witness sacred rituals of Cham people, take part in various traditional activities as well as savor characterized cuisine of this land.