A traditional ceremony commemorating sailors of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) flotilla, was held at An Vinh communal temple, Ly Son island district, central Quang Ngai province on April 15.

The annual “Le khao le the linh Hoang Sa” (Feast and Commemoration Festival for Hoang Sa Soldiers) 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.-VNA