Under Nguyen Dynasty, Xa Tac Esplanade (in Hue Capital City) was the place to organize the worshipping ceremony dedicating to the Earth and Rice Spirits for the good harvest and peace. It was built in the 5th year of Emperor Gia Long reign (1806) at the west side of Hue Imperial City. Following the emperor’s order, all provinces of all over the country had to contribute good soil to build up this esplanade.
For this event, Xa Tac ceremony has the important symbolic meaning in which Xa Tac can be seen as the representative of the country’s land. The ceremony used to be organized twice a year in Spring and Autumn and arranged in the national’s rites as the second Great Rite after Nam Giao Sacrifice Ceremony.
On the occasion of Thang Long-Hanoi’s 1000th anniversary and Hue Festival 2010, Xa Tac ceremony will be revived as in the traditional ritual process with the participation of more than 700 attendants and ritual court music. Especially, ceremony attendants also include 100 old men representing people from Thua Thien Hue’s districts.
The ceremony will start the royal procession at 19:40 p.m on April 8th, 2010 at Ngo Mon Gate, then take the route along the 23/8 Street - Le Huan Street - Tran Nguyen Han Street and reach to Xa tac Esplanade.
The sacrifice ceremony will start at 20:00 p.m with the traditional ritual steps.
After the collapse of Nguyen dynasty, Xa Tac ceremony also lost its original perfoming environment. However, its spirit and human meaning still play an important role in the spiritual life of Vietnamese agricultural inhabitants.
With special performance of ritual steps and the unique meaning of the ceremony, hopefully, the revival of this ceremony will be soon recognized as the Representative of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.