The tradition has returned every Tet since 1826 to commemorate first Vietnamese to explore Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands
People in Ly Son Island off Quang Ngai Province say prayers at a temple to start the final round of their annual boat race on Monday (February 15, 2016). The boat race has been held every Lunar New Year holiday since 1826 to commemorate the first locals who sailed to Hoang Sa (Paracels) Islands 200 sea miles away. Photos: Minh Hoang/Zing
Eight boats representing eight villages enter the final round after winning races in the four previous days. Each boat of more than ten meters carry 24 men and is well decorated.
The boats race for four kilometers.
The excited audience.
Some people even swim over to cheer their village’s team.
Old men attend the event in traditional dresses.
Big crowds of viewers along the coast.
It is believed that winning the race can bring good luck to a village and bumper crops for the year.
A government official hands the champion cup to the winning team.
The original Vietnamese story can be found here on Zing