Culture Culture

13/03/2019 - 16:05

Solemn Xa Tac Ceremony 

As organized annually, on the morning of March 12 (February 7 in the Lunar calendar), at Xa Tac Esplanade (Thuan Hoa ward, Hue city), Hue Monuments Conservation Center organized the Xa Tac Ceremony to pray for national security, favorable weather, bumper crops, and prosperity for all.

Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Dung led the 2019 Xa Tac Ceremony

Xa Tac Ceremony is one of the typical royal ceremonies. From the time of Dinh, Ly, Tran and Le to the Nguyen dynasty, Xa Tac Esplanade had been erected and Xa Tac Ceremony had been held twice a year (in the spring and autumn) to honor the country's agricultural economy and to pray for the best wishes for the country and people. 

The 2019 Xa Tac Ceremony took place solemnly and respectfully, complete with all the rituals: Quan tay ritual (washing hands and cleaning all impurities), Thuong huong ritual (incense offering), Nghinh tran ritual (inviting the gods to attend), Dien Ngoc bach ritual (offering white jade), Truyen chuc ritual (reading the oration), Hien tuoc ritual (wine offering), Phu To ritual (enjoying the offerings), Triet soan ritual (lowering the offerings), Tong Than ritual (sending off the gods) and Tu chuc bach soan ritual (burning the oration, white silk, and ancestral tablet). The sacrificial items include three animal sacrifices (cow, goat, pig), white silk, rice, fruits...

The 2019 Xa Tac Ceremony took place in 2 parts, the ritual part and the part for local people and visitors to offer incense and pray.

During the Nguyen Dynasty, Xa Tac Ceremony was one of the important royal rituals placed in the Dai tu (high rank), expressing a desire for harmonious living with nature. The ceremony honors human values, in accordance with the ethics of the Vietnamese people.

The Xa Tac Esplanade is one of the most important imperial relics of Hue Imperial City. Under the Nguyen Dynasty, it was considered to be in the same rank as Nam Giao Esplanade and Ngu Mieu (Five shrines) in the Citadel (Trieu Mieu, Thai Mieu, Hung Mieu, The Mieu and Phung Tien Mieu). Xa Tac Esplanade is also considered one of the important "Mieu Dan" of the court and royal family. The Xa Tac Esplanade was built in the late spring of 1806, located to the West of the Citadel, in accordance with the principle of "ta To, huu Xa” (worshipping the ancestors on the left; and the nation on the right) of the traditional Eastern citadel.

Due to the special significance and nature of the project, when it was initiated, all the cities and towns in the country were ordered by the king to contribute clean land to build the esplanade. Therefore, Xa Tac Esplanade symbolizes the land of the country.

Some pictures of the Xa Tac Ceremony taking place on the morning of March 12:

The Xa Tac Esplanade is located in Thuan Hoa ward, Hue City

The band performing during the ceremony

Wine offering ritual

Reading the oration

The 2019 Xa Tac Ceremony is the second year in which Bat Dat dance team is restored

Offering tea

Hundreds of people and tourists coming to offer incense and pray

The Xa Tac Ceremony shows humanity and meets the desires of the people, wishing for a prosperous and happy life.

Story and photos: Duc Quang