Fishermen on Ly Son island in Quang Ngai province have kicked off a boat racing festival in the Lunar New Year to wish for peace and prosperity for the people and to commemorate ancestors and Hoang Sa (Paracel) soldiers who protect the country's borders.

The festival, the biggest of the year on the island, gives youth a chance to demonstrate their boating skills.

In the past, during the Nguyen Dynasty, the festival was organised to choose the healthiest men for a team of Hoang Sa soldiers.

The festival, which has been held for more than 300 years, is organised between the fourth and eighth day of the Lunar New Year.-VNA