The nation’s sacred sovereignty, borders, seas and islands will be to the fore of a festival designed for ethnic groups of Vietnam at the Vietnamese Ethnic Group Village in Dong Mo, Hanoi, on June 28-29.

In the spotlight of the festival, themed “A great family of Vietnamese ethnic groups and the fatherland’s sacred sovereignty”, will be a traditional ceremony commemorating sailors of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) flotilla, according to the organising board on June 19.

The “Le khao le the linh Hoang Sa” (Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa Soldiers), to be staged by fishermen from Ly Son island, central Quang Ngai province, pays tribute to the men enlisted in the flotilla to patrol the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos to tap natural resources and defend national island sovereignty.

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.

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 tap marine resources at orders by the Nguyen Lords. Their missions were full of dangers, and many of them never returned to mainland.

To pay tribute to the men enlisted in the flotilla, the ceremony has been observed through hundreds of years by families in Ly Son and many coastal areas in Quang Ngai.

Apart from the feast, there will be a ceremony of fishermen from central Da Nang city praying for rain and a ritual worshiping the god of sea wave (Po Riayak) of Cham fishermen of the central province of Ninh Thuan.

These form part of Vietnam Family Day (June 28), the organising board said.

A record Vietnamese map, pieced together by thousands of family photos, will be put on display at the festival. It will then be presented to soldiers and residents on Truong Sa island district, bearing signatures of representatives of ethnic groups and tourists.-VNA