Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival

Time: From the 23rd to the 27th day of the fourth lunar month, main festival day is on the 25th of the fourth lunar month.
Place: Ba Chua Temple at Sam Mountain, Chau Doc City, An Giang Province.
Objects of worship: Ba Chua Xu (local goddess).
Characteristics: 5 strict and solemn rites.

Ba Chua Xu Temple (the local tutelary goddess) lies at the foot of Sam Mountain, Chau Doc City, An Giang Province. It is said that the goddess is so sacred that anyone who offers incense to her can realise all his/her wishes. Therefore, during the festival of Ba Chua Xu (also called the Via Ba ceremony), numerous pilgrims from everywhere flock to the temple. The festival is held annually from the 23rd to the 27th of the fourth lunar month with the ceremonies as follows:

The statue of Ba Chua washing rite

This rite takes place at midnight of the 24th day. The first ritual is to light two big candles in front of Ba Chua statue. It is followed by the rites of offering  incense, wine, tea, burning joss-sticks and praying. A group of four or five women that selected before open the curtain to go inside and perform the bathing ritual for the statue.

At the foot of the statue is a small fragrant water basin. These women wash the statue of Ba Chua and spray it with perfume. And then, they change the statue into a new robe and hat. This rite often lasts one hour. After that, pilgrims burn incense pray for good things. The procession from Thoai Ngoc Hau Mausoleum to Ba Chua  Xu Temple.

 

 

At 3 p.m. of the same day, locals hold a procession that starts from Ba Temple to Thoai Ngoc Hau Mausoleum. They want to express their gratitude to Thoai Ngoc Hau who had merit to reclaim this land.

The members of procession offer incense and flowers to Thoai Ngoc Hau. Then, they bring three tablets of Thoai Ngoc Hau, ladies Chau Thi Te and Truong Thi Miet, and one tablet of those who had merit to help Thoai Ngoc Hau to the Ba Temple. These four tablets are placed at the sanctuary.

Tuc Yet rite
The rite begins at midnight of the 25th and continues into the early morning of the 26th. Participants dressed in smart traditional costumes stand on the two sides and the master of ceremonies stands in front of the statue of Ba Chua. The offerings include a white pig, a dish of pig's blood and a little hair, called mao huyet, a tray of sticky rice, a tray of fruits, a tray of areca and betel, a dish of rice and salt, which are place on a table before the statue.

 

The master of ceremonies and notables burn incense on the altar. Following are the rituals of offering incense, wine, tea and an oration. One person reads the oration, and then the master of ceremonies burns this oration and votive papers. The pig is turned over before it is taken away. It marks the end of the tuc yet rite.

Xay chau rite
The xay chau rite is performed after the tuc yet rite. In order to prepare for this rite, people replace the table before the altar with a drum.

The master of ceremonies holds two drumsticks and says his prayers before the altar. After that, he dips a branch of willow into a water bowl on the left of the altar, and sprinkles water on the floor.

When he finishes the ritual, he put the bowl and the willow branch on the altar, and beats three salvos of drumbeat to begin the hat boi (classical opera) performance.

Chanh te rite
The chanh te rite takes place at 4 a.m of the 26th with the rituals similar to tuc yet rite. On the afternoon of the 27th day, the four tablets are brought back to Thoai Ngoc Hau Mausoleum, marking the end of the festival.

 

During the festival days, many traditional cultural activities are organised, including unicorn dance, dance with dishes and cups. Ba Chua  Xu Festival is rich in the national identity and the southern colours.

 

WHERE TO STAY
An Thanh Hung Hotel

Add: 162 Mai Van Tao St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3862 999

Lam Hung Ky Hotel

Add: 138 Trung Nu Vuong St.,Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3561 564/ 3561 981

Victoria Chau Doc Hotel

Add: 1 Le Loi St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3865 010

Ngoc Phu Hotel

Add: 25 Dong Da St., Chau Doc

Tel: (84-296) 3868 484

Ha Long An Giang Hotel

Add: No 1 Road, Nui Sam Ward, Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3571 661

Nui Sam Guest House - Restaurant

Add: 1 Tan Lo Kieu Luong St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3861 999

Victoria Nui Sam Hotel

Add: Vinh Dong 1 Zone, Nui Sam Ward, Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3575 888

Satisfy Hotel

Add: 1, 30/4 St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 6260 260/ 6261 261

Chau Pho Hotel 

Add:  88 Truong Nu Vuong St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3564 139

Song Sao Hotel

Add: 71 Nguyen Huu Canh St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3561 777

Tai Ngan Hotel

Add: 73 Nguyen Huu Canh St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3866 435

Ben Da Nui Sam Hotel

Add: Tan Lo Kieu Luong St., Nui Sam Ward, Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3861 745/ 3861 705

Thanh Ha Hotel

Add: Trung Nu Vuong St., Ward B, Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3560 956

Hue Binh Hotel

Add: Tan Lo Kieu Luong St., Nui Sam Ward, Chau Doc

Tel: (84-296) 3568 468

Trung Nguyen Hotel

Add: 86 Bach Dang St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3866 158

Thuan Loi Hotel

Add: 275 Tran Hung Dao St., Chau Doc

Tel: (84-296) 3866 134

Hotel-Restaurant Hai Chau

Add: 63 Suong Nguyet Anh St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 6260 066

WHERE TO EAT
Hong Phat Restaurant

Add: 77 Chi Lang St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3866 950

Quan Bay Bong

Add: 20 Suong Nguyet Anh St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3867 271

Chau Doc Tourist Pier Restaurant

Add: 3 Le Loi St., Chau Doc City

Tel: (84-296) 3550 949