Xa Tac Ritual
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Under the Nguyen Dynasty, the Xa Tac Ritual was held in February of the lunar calendar every year to pray for national peace, favorable rain and wind, bountiful crops, and prosperity.
Address: Xa Tac Esplanade (Thuan Hoa ward, Hue city)
Opening Time: The end of February of the lunar calendar


In the Nguyen Dynasty, the Xa Tac Ritual was one of the important court rituals ranked as a "Dai tu", expressing the desire to harmonize and live with nature. The ceremony upholds human values, in accordance with the ethics of the Vietnamese people.


In 1806, King Gia Long built a Xa Tac Esplanade. Xa is the most important of the five earth gods, and Tac is rice - the most precious cereal. Because it is worshiping the Land and Rice, all cities, palaces, and towns in the whole country according to the king's order, must contribute clean soil to build to build Xa Tac Esplanade. Therefore, the Xa Tac Esplanade also symbolizes the land of the country, the meaning of the Xa Tac Esplanade is, therefore, more sacred.

The Esplanade was built inside the Imperial City, to the west, formerly in Huu Nien commune (later in the city of Ngung Tich ward), now in the territory of Thuan Hoa ward, Hue city. This is one of the especially important relics of Hue's Ancient Capital. Under the Nguyen Dynasty, the Xa Tac Esplanade was lined up with the Nam Giao Esplanade and the Five Shrines in the Imperial City, one of the important "Esplanades" of the court and royal family.


At the Xa Tac Esplanade - the place where the ritual takes place - there will be altars, incense, offerings, guards, officials of all kinds, consular officers, and deacons... The main rituals: Quan Tay (the king washes his hands); Dang Huong (offering incense); Nghinh Than (welcoming the gods); Dien Ngoc Bach (offering jewel and silk); Hien Tuoc (offering wine); Truyen Chuc (reading the will); Tu Phuc Lo (blessing); Triet Soan (preparing food)...

According to Kinh Le, the Xa Tac Esplanade built must have a "Xa" foundation for worship. The two floors of Xa Tac Esplanade are located on a large, square land, surrounded by stone walls. On the south side, there is a screen, on the three sides of the east, west, and south side, there is a small door, and on the north side (front), the three-arched-entrances gate. In the garden of the Esplanade there are pine and apricot, the two sides of the road from the bottom floor lead to the gate plant two straight rows of calophyllaceae trees. Therefore, Hue folklore has a saying: "Van Thanh grows pine/ Vo Thanh cultivates catappa/ Look at the two rows of calophyllaceae of Xa Tac". In front of the three-arched-entrances gate, in the north, there is a road separating the esplanade from Xa Tac Lake. The lake is wide, square, side 57m, with clear blue water and the shadow of Xa Tac in the lake.

Referring to the Rituals of Xa Tac, each era is different, but in the Nguyen Dynasty, the Xa Tac Ritual was organized by the court. Before the ritual, the roads from the Citadel to the Xa Tac Esplanade had to be cleaned up. Before that, from the king to the mandarins, anyone who participated in the rituals had to fast to keep themselves clean.

In order to prepare for the rituals, the Ministry of Rites must take care of repairing and fully arranging offerings, altars, and incense. On the main ceremony, the two sides of the road from the gate of Ngo Mon had soldiers and flags standing majestically, torches all night. On the altar, in addition to the usual ritual and worship items, there is also a triple sacrifice of three animals: buffalo, goat, and pig.

The army of more than 700 people full of guards, mandarins, soldiers, music teams, Bat Dat dancers, elephants, horses, drum bells, hammocks, parasols, fans, and flags... depart to the village. After that, the Ngu Dao carried out the ritual in a solemn and sacred atmosphere.

In front of the great altar, the king wore the nine-dragon crown, the royal robe, and the jade belt, as the priest. Behind the king, the mandarins wear a neat costumes, the lines are straight, and the faces are solemn, respectfully bowing their heads to worship. The ritual takes place in a solemn atmosphere with many respectful rituals. Immediately after the official ritual, when the king had returned to the palaces, the people were allowed to go up to the esplanade to offer incense for the rain and wind to harmonize, the harvest was plentiful, and the life was full.


The Xa Tac Esplanade is made up of two floors, square, face to the north. The upper floor is 1,60m high, the edge is 28m long, and the ground is covered with 5 colors according to the principle of the five elements: middle yellow, east blue, west white, south red, and north black. There are 32 stones on the floor to put the remnants. The lower floor is 1,20m high, the edge is 70m long, the front floor is tiled, and on both sides there is a platform to put the remnants.

Artistic Value:

Organized for the first time in 2008, since then, the Xa Tac Ritual has been held annually, becoming a unique and humanistic traditional culture of Thua Thien Hue.

After the rituals, a large number of people came to offer incense at the Xa Tac Esplanade to pray for national peace, harmonious rain, and wind, happy and warm life...