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Hue re-enacts worship festivals

Hue re-enacts worship festivals A royal procession of elephants, horses and hundreds of people dressed in Nguyen Dynasty ceremonial costumes was re-enacted in the evening of April 8 in the city of Hue.

Staged at the Xa Tac Worshipping Platform in the city's Thuan Hoa District, the event included worship rituals celebrating the gods of land (Xa) and rice (Tac), which were of prime importance for thousands of years before the fall of feudalism.

Flags, palanquins, parasols and old weapons were part of the procession and it attended by 100 elderly patriarchs representing all of Thua Thien-Hue Province's villages.

After three rounds of bells and drums, the procession set off at Thai Hoa Palace, which houses the throne, and made its way through Ngo Mon (main gate to the Forbidden City), Le Huan and Ngo Thi Nham streets to the Xa Tac Worshipping Platform.

The worship rituals began at the platform at 8pm and lasted for an hour, beginning with the washing of hands and then planting incense, welcoming genies, offering white gems, chanting eulogies, offering wine, removing offerings, sending genies off, and burning written eulogies.

In 1806, the Xa Tac Platform was built to the west of the citadel by Gia Long, the first king of Nguyen Dynasty, to worship rice and soil, the two most essential elements of wet-rice agriculture, according to historians.

Following the king's orders, the raised platform was made of soil taken from every part of the country.

As one of the most important sanctuaries under the Nguyen Dynasty, it is on a par with Nam Giao Platform, which worships God. Other temples worship the dynasty's ancestries and late kings of the dynasty.

During the Nguyen Dynasty, Xa Tac worship was staged twice a year in spring and autumn and conducted by kings to pray for favourable weather, good crops, peace and prosperity.

It was re-enacted for the first time two years ago at the biennial Hue Festival. (Source: VNS)

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