Statue washing rite
is performed at mid-night of the day before the festival. This rite is
preceded by a ceremony of water procession in some places. A ceremony to
inform gods must be held prior to this statue-washing rite.
is the rite of wearing hats and costumes for gods’ statues or putting
them in their worshipping tablets if gods have no statue. After that,
the statues of gods (or worshipping tablets, even costumes) are put in
the palanquin, ready for the procession on the opening of the festival.
A festival often includes the procession of gods, tutelary gods, royal
order and water, of which the first and fourth rite are most popular.
The content and meaning of the procession ritual vary from festival to
festival with regard to the object of procession, its organization and
participants. The procession of gods and water processions are usually
carried out prior to the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival
as mentioned above, are to honour holy figures, i.e. gods or divinities
to whose temples and shrines are dedicated. Very often a festival takes
place in the courtyard of the village’s communal house which is
spacious and convenient for the conduct of liturgical processes and
rejoicing activities. As such, the ritual of god procession is held
along the route from their places of worship to the place of liturgy. At
the end of the festival, another procession will bring gods’ statues
back to their temples. After the procession ritual are the ritual of
presenting offerings to gods and the opening of the festival. In many
festivals, a procession of the oration dedicated to gods is held every
day. Each day a different oration is used.
traditional festivals it is required that participants in the
procession ritual must be men above 18 years old who are selected
carefully on the basis of their physical strength and good ethics. Women
can join the procession group in such festivals as Phu Day or Ha Loi which dedicate to
goddesses. Anyone who is chosen to become a member of the procession
group must consider it his/her own honour and his/her family.
its way, each procession bears its own symbol. People beat drums and
gongs (formerly firecrackers were used) to signal the departure of the
procession. On the closing day of the festival, a final ritual is held with all processes required.