April festival to honour Hoang Sa Flotilla

The centrApril festival to honour Hoang Sa Flotillaal coastal province of Quang Ngai will hold the traditional ceremonies to commemorate the sailors of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Flotilla on April 27-28 in Ly Son island district.

The 2013 Quang Ngai Sea and Island Cultural Week will also be launched on this occasion.

This will be the first time Quang Ngai organises at provincial level the Hoang Sa Soldier Feast and Commemoration Festival. This is a unique rite observed by the locals on Ly Son Island in either the second or third lunar month, to pay tribute to their ancestors who crossed the sea to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos to mine natural resources and defend the national island sovereignty.

The festival also aims to raise awareness among people, especially youths, about the importance of protecting the national sea and island sovereignty and territorial integrity.

A wide range of ritual activities will be held during this year’s event, including a requiem for the dead, a procession of the four supernatural creatures, the release of lanterns, boat races, and the launching of replica boats carrying effigies of Hoang Sa-Truong Sa fleet sailors to sea.

A discussion concerning Vietnamese legal and historical sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes plus an exhibition of art works and photos, and folk games will also take place.

According to Vietnam’s feudal state history, the Hoang Sa Flotilla was set up when the Nguyen Lords began their reign in the south of the country. Troops were sent to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes throughout the past three centuries, since the time of the Nguyen Lords and through the Tay Son and Nguyen dynasties. The Hoang Sa Flotilla was then assigned to control Bac Hai (Truong Sa).-VNA