Ceremony commemorates soldiers of ancient Hoang Sa Flotilla

Thursday, 2017-04-13 11:37:32
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A ritual at the Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa (Paracel) flotilla soldiers
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NDO - The Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa (Paracel) flotilla soldiers (Le khao le the linh Hoang Sa) was held on April 12 in An Vinh commune, Ly Son district, the central province of Quang Ngai.

The annual event aims to pay tribute to sailor-soldiers under the Nguyen Dynasty who travel to Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands to measure sea routes and erect steles on islands to safeguard national sovereignty over seas and islands as well as exploit natural resources and products to make offerings to the imperial court.

According to Director of Quang Ngai provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Dang Vu, the festival has existed over the past hundreds of years and used to be held not only in Ly Son but also in localities having soldiers to Hoang Sa. However, the rituals have been lost in oblivion in other localities along the Quang Ngai Sea.

PhD Nguyen Dang Vu, Director of Quang Ngai provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism

The festival has been preserved by people in Ly Son island district and has become a unique cultural and belief event, said director Vu.

He added that in addition to contributing to preserving cultural identities of Ly Son fishermen, the festival is a meaningful event to affirm the country’s sovereignty over the seas and islands.

Earlier on April 2, people in An Hai commune also held the Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa (Paracel) flotilla soldiers.

According to Vietnam’s feudal state history, the Hoang Sa flotilla was set up at the end of the 16th century to patrol the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos to exploit resources and protect national island sovereignty.

‘Le khao le the linh Hoang Sa’ was recognised as part of the national intangible cultural heritage in 2016.

A requiem was celebrated on April 11 for sailor-soldiers

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Blowing conch shell is an indispensable ritual at the festival.