| A ceremony to commemorate Hoang Sa soldiers recently takes place in Ly Son district, Quang Ngai province. (Photo: quangngaitv.vn)
The ceremony has been held on Ly Son island for hundreds of years to commemorate soldiers who planted sovereign landmarks on Vietnam’s Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes.
At the ceremony for Hoang Sa soldiers which took place hundreds of years ago, local people in Ly Son island prayed for safety and peace for the soldiers before going for mission. Under the King's orders, many Ly Son islanders went out to Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes to fish and plant landmarks. Many people died at sea and could not make their way back home.
Bui Van Canh, Head of the Reception Department of An Hai Communal House in Ly Son district, said, "In every second lunar month, An Hai village organizes the ceremony to commemorate the soldiers and pray for bumper catch as well as luck and safety for the fishermen."
In 2013, the ceremony was recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Truong Van Suu, Head of Culture and Information Office of Ly Son island district, said that the locality has preserved and promoted local heritage values to develop tourism. Tourists to Ly Son are always introduced to local cultural heritages. "We have preserved ritual ceremonies of An Vinh and An Hai villages," Suu added.
Ly Son district is home to 3,000 fishermen, with more than 500 boats, including 100 offshore fishing boats.