Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival (or Via Ba Festival) is an annual festival organized from April 23rd to April 27th in lunar calendar at Ba Chua Xu Temple, Chau Doc town, An Giang province.
The part of ceremony includes 5 ceremonies: Ba Bathing Ceremony, Plaques Procession from Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple to Mieu Ba ceremony, Tuc Yet Ceremony, Xay Chau ceremony and Chanh Te ceremony.
Ba Bathing Ceremony is organized at 23: 00 o’clock April 23rd. This ceremony includes the action of cleaning the statue and change clothes for Ba Chua Xu. Water to bath is fragrant water. Her old clothes are cut into small pieces. They then are passed for the tourists as the amulets. Ba Bathing Ceremony lasts for around 1 hour before visitors can be freely praying.
Plaques Procession from Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple to Mieu Ba ceremony is conducted at 15:00 April 24. The old in the village and the temple management board in polite come to Thoai Ngoc Hau temple which is opposite to the Ba Chua Xu Temple to process plaques of Ngoc Hau Nguyen Van Thoai, Truong THi Miet and Council plaque. When coming to Mieu Ba, these plaques are placed at the centre of the temple. The Management Board offers incense, praying for peace and the ceremony finishes. This ceremony has existed for a long time to express the gratefulness to the person who explored this wasteland.
Tuc Yet Ceremony: is organized at 00:00 April 25th. All the old in the village anf the Temple management board in polite dress queuing into two rows in front of Ba statue. Offerings include 1 white pig cleaned without cooked done, A plate of blood with some feathers of pig, a tray of sticky rice, a plate of rice and salt. The main player offers incense, wine, tea and then burns some votive paper.
Xay Chau ceremony: after Tuc Yet ceremony, Xay Chau ceremony takes place. The main prayer moves toward the altar, holding the drumstick with two hands, lifting to front and pray. On the left side of the altar, there is a bowl of water and a willow branch. The main prayer touches the willow branch into the water bowl and splashes water around while reading out loud the prayers. Finish reading, he places the bowl and the willow branch to their initial positions. He then makes 3 drumbeats and shouts a sentence. Immediately, the singing group with drum and horn starts, opening the singing program. The following operas are able to perform at Mieu Ba: Tran Binh Trong, Sat That, Luu Kim Dinh, Nu Vuong and so on.
Chanh Te ceremony: take place at 4 am April 26th with similar rituals as Tuc Yet ceremony. In the afternoon of 27th, they bring the plaque of Thoai Ngoc Hau to Son Lang.
The part of festival takes play joyfully, mixing with some activities of ceremony part. Many folk artistic and cultural activities are performed including lion dance, dish dance and s on, attracting numerous visitors.
Ba Chua Xu Temple festival is a festival bearing national cultural identity, but also contains the colour of the South. This is really a cultural festival meeting with the demands in spiritual life for the people.