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Updated April 8, 2015
Hoang Sa tribute rituals held in Quang Ngai
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The Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa (Paracel) flotilla soldiers (Le khao le the linh Hoang Sa) was held in An Hai Communal Temple, Ly Son Island, the central province of Quang Ngai on April 5.

The rituals, held annually for hundreds of years on the island in the second month of the lunar calendar, is a tribute to the sailor-soldiers who left their homeland to tap natural resources and safeguard the country’s sovereignty.

According to Viet Nam’s feudal state history, the Hoang Sa flotilla was set up to patrol the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos to explore resources and defend national island sovereignty when the Nguyen Lords began their reign in the south of the country.

Thousands of sailors overcame roaring waves and storms to survey sea routes, plant milestones and erect steles affirming national territory in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, and extract marine resources at orders by the Nguyen Lords. Their missions were full of dangers, and many of them never returned.

During the rituals, paper boats with effigies of sailors are launched into the seas and respects are paid to the lost sailors’ symbolic tombs.

The ceremony is observed in Ly Son and many coastal areas in Quang Ngai.

Earlier on April 4, An Hai Commune held a ceremony praying for the Agriculture God’s support to a bumper crop in the year.

Source: VNA


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