Wednesday, 28/09/2022
Chau Van - Vietnamese ritual singing
Update9/21/2020 1:56:53 PM
Chau van is a kind of Vietnamese ritual singing performed during rituals to honor Mother Goddess and accompanying gods.
Chau Van singing festival held in Hue Festival 2018
Chau Van singing festival held in Hue Festival 2018

The worshipfulness of Mother Goddess is a popular folk belief in Vietnam. People in Central and Southern Central Vietnam commonly worship Y A Na, the goddess of Champa people. When Kinh ethnic minority group settled down in Champa, they also worshiped this goddess.

Ngoc Tran, also known as Hon Chen was the biggest and oldest shrine where Goddess Thien Y A Na is worshiped in Hue. The history of this place of worship dates back to the 3rd year of Emperor Minh Mang's reign (1832). When Emperor Dong Khanh enthroned, he had the shrine reconstructed and renamed Hue Nam. As the part of the Huong River in front of Hon Chen shrine is very deep, even the best fisherman can not reach its bed. In the past, boats always pass by the shrine in silence to show their gratefulness.

In every third and seventh lunar month, major festivals were held in Ngoc Tran shrine, attracting not only people worshipping Mother Goddess, but also near and far visitors. On large boats docked in front of the shrine, people dance and sing. It is depend on their roles that dancers are in colorful costumes and hold paddles, swords, flowers or incenses. Listening to the sound coming from bell, drum, pipa, two-stringed bowed musical instrument and the scent of incense, participants put aside their daily difficult life and imagine themselves as gods, goddesses or other powerful figures.  

Except for superstition factor commonly found in rituals, Chau van singing is appreciated in terms of music, dance and ethnic value, etc.
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