The program, organized jointly by the Khanh Hoa Department of Culture and Sports and the Khanh Hoa Provincial Monuments Conservation Center, allowed visitors to explore the ancient Champa kingdom, which spanned large parts of central and southern Vietnam from the sixth to 16th centuries.

There are currently around 178,000 Cham people, who are descendants of the Champa kingdom, living in Vietnam. Over 83 percent of them reside in rural areas, according to the Nhan Dan (People) newspaper.

Dancers perform Apsara, a unique Cham dance, in front of the Kalan area at Ponagar Tower in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, on December 27, 2023. Photo: Tran Hoai / Tuoi Tre

Wednesday’s semi-outdoor art program featured a diverse array of live performances connected to an overarching storyline, aimed at introducing Cham culture, the ancient land of Khanh Hoa, and the history of the age-old Ponagar Tower to visitors.

In addition, visitors to the event were treated to musical performances featuring the traditional instruments and dances of the Cham people.

Worshippers carry offerings to the main tower and temple area, called Kalan, at Ponagar Tower in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, on December 27, 2023. Photo: Tran Hoai / Tuoi Tre

According to Nguyen Tan Dung, deputy director of the Khanh Hoa Provincial Monuments Conservation Center, the program aimed to provide locals and visitors with an authentic experience of traditional cultural and artistic expressions.

Dung also mentioned that plans are in place to organize similar monthly programs throughout the year, with the long-term goal of establishing a market for nighttime activities and preserving and advancing the province’s cultural heritage values.

Dancers perform a traditional dance of the Cham people in the mist at Ponagar Tower in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, on December 27, 2023. Photo: Tran Hoai / Tuoi Tre

Artists dance and sing at Ponagar Tower in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, on December 27, 2023. Photo: Tran Hoai / Tuoi Tre

An artisan demonstrates the traditional brocade weaving-craft of the Cham people at Ponagar Tower in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, on December 27, 2023. Photo: Tran Hoai / Tuoi Tre

An artist performs with a Saranai, a traditional reed wind instrument of the Cham people, at Ponagar Tower in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, on December 27, 2023. Photo: Tran Hoai / Tuoi Tre

Visitors enjoy a performance featuring Cham people’s traditional instruments at Ponagar Tower in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, on December 27, 2023. Photo: Tran Hoai / Tuoi Tre

Ponagar Tower is illuminated by countless lights at night in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam, on December 27, 2023. Photo: Tran Hoai / Tuoi Tre