A warm Tet holiday in Truong Sa


(QNO) - Spring has come to every corner in Vietnam. Tet atmosphere has covered all the islands on Truong Sa archipelago.

In Truong Sa town which is considered the capital of Truong Sa district in Khanh Hoa province, soldiers and islanders are participating in cultural and art programs to welcome the traditional Lunar New Year.

After days prior to Tet, cargo ships from mainland transport essential goods to Truong Sa archipelago and Truong Sa town. Since then preparations then begin.

Wrapping ‘Chung’ cakes or cakes made of sticky rice, green beans, and pork meat, cleaning and decorating houses, preparing 5-fruit trays and art shows have been assigned to each person.

Vo Thi Thu Sang, a Truong Sa islander, said although Tet on the island is not as bustling as in the mainland, everybody seems to be more united. 

a warm tet holiday in truong sa  hinh 0

“The preparation began on the 25th day of the last lunar month. Everybody is close to each other. We wish each other all the best like family members. This Tet seems cozier than in previous years,” Sang said.

Tet on the island now is as sufficient as in the mainland. In addition to shipments from the mainland, people in Truong Sa town have prepared their own supplies, ranging from poultry, fish, to vegetables for the Tet holiday.

A local resident Le Thi Truc Ha said “Thanks to the support of local authorities and people in the mainland, we have everything needed for Tet including sticky rice cakes, pork, and poultry. We also make cookies and jams of various kinds.”

This Tet, Truong Sa town has special guests who are five youth union members of the Club of Youths for National Seas and Islands. Launched by the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union, its members have wrapped 2016 Chung cakes and a delegation of 5 members has departed for Truong Sa to welcome the Lunar New Year with the soldiers and people in the island.

The Muong ethnic Bui Thi Hong Duyen said “This Tet is very special and one of the most significant event in my life. I can welcome a New Year with island soldiers and people on Truong Sa island.”

Cultural and art programs began since the New Year eve involving both local residents and soldiers.

But the most solemn function on Truong Sa Island is the flag salute ceremony on the first day of the Lunar New Year. Truong Sa military staff and soldiers, local people and children stand decently under the national flag and sing together the national anthem and the “Marching song”.

Lieutenant colonel Nguyen Van Tuan, political commissar of Truong Sa island, said “the flag salute ceremony on the first day of a Lunar New Year  is important for each Vietnamese and of greater significance for Truong Sa, one of Vietnam’s most sacred areas. The event left me a strong impression due to its sacred meaning and the feeling of honor. During these moments, all what I wish is all Truong Sa soldiers and military staff and islanders are healthy and united to achieve more successes in safeguarding national territorial waters.”

Following the flag salute ceremony, both soldiers and local people go together to the pagoda to pray for a happy and lucky year and burn incense at President Ho Chi Minh Memorial House and Martyrs Monument.

This is the third time for the 9-year-old To Phuong Linh to enjoy Tet on the island. She expressed her joy to visit the soldiers on the island on New Year and “wish them fulfill their assignments. 

"I also pay New Year visits to the neighbors. My mom takes me to the pagoda and I help her prepare offerings to place on the altars. I also phone my grandparents and friends in the mainland to send them good wishes and promise to study well this year,” Linh said

Lieutenant colonel Do Hai Dang, deputy commissar of the island, said “We have organized various sports activities during Tet like tug-of-war, football or volleyball. Competitions among units have also been held to help them relax and keep fit.”