Hoang Sa tribute rituals held in Quang Ngai
Update: May 05, 2015
The Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa (Paracel) flotilla soldiers (Le khao le the linh Hoang Sa) was held in the An Vinh communal temple, on Ly Son Island in the central province of Quang Ngai on May 4.

The festival is observed annually by Ly Son fishermen during the third lunar month to pay tribute to those who followed the king’s orders, leaving their homeland to protect the country’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes over the past three centuries.

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 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 over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, and extract marine resources at the orders of 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 ritual was recognised as a National Intangible Heritage in 2013.