Cham ritual rem embers the departed

(No.8, Vol.3, Sep 2013 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Each grave is marked by a stone. Though the names of the dead are not written on the stones, their relatives can still recognize the grave by sight.

After people tidy up the graves, the shaman waters the graves as a way to purify them

The shaman recite sutras while the people kow-tow.

Each year, Cham Bani, a Muslim sub-group of the Cham ethnic minority, go to visit the graves of their dead relatives and have a ritual called Lễ tảo mộ, during which they tidy up the graves and pay tribute to the dead.
This kicks off Ramuwan, their biggest festival of the year. This year Ramuwan (which originates from the word Ramadan) started on 7 July and last for one month.
Lễ tảo mộ takes three days, according to Cham researcher Inrasara.
This year it is from 5 July to 7 July.
Cham people, who are well-known for their ancient towers, are concentrated in Ninh Thuan, South-Central Vietnam.
The pictures were taken by Huynh Van Nam in July 2012 during a Lễ tảo mộ at Van Lam village cemetery, Nam Phuoc Commune, Ninh Phuoc District, Ninh Thuan Province.

The shamans recite sutras while the people kow-tow.

Offerings to the dead. Usually the offerings include food and drinks

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