In Saigon, on March 14th, the population turned out in force to commemorate two sisters who were responsible for throwing out Chinese invaders nearly two thousand years ago.
PS Crowd at altar where commemoration began with religious ceremony
MS Band playing National Anthem 3/4.
MS Young women representing two sisters mounted on elephants
CU One of the sisters
MS Vietnamese women in parade
CU Women in parade
MS Decorated float
Women organisation parade
LS Air Force planes flying over parade
MS More floats Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Saigon, on March 14th, the population turned out in force to commemorate two sisters who were responsible for throwing out Chinese invaders nearly two thousand years ago.
Early in the first century the Chinese ruled Vietnam, and, according to Vietnamese history, the people were virtually slaves. The opportunity for rebellion against the Chinese came after Thi Sachm the husband of Trung Trao, was executed by the Chinese ruler To Dingh, for having spoken against his policy of oppression.
To rescue her country and revenge her husband's death, Trung Trao, with her sister Trung Nhi, organised a rising against the Chinese who were soon afterwards driven out of Vietnam. After the successful uprising, the two sisters became Queens of the country.
But a year later, the Chinese again invaded Vietnam in greater force. The Vietnamese army could not hold out against the powerful Chinese forces and the sister Queens were forced to flee before the invaders. When capture seemed imminent, the two sisters drowned themselves in the Hat River.
In present day commemorations of the Two Sisters Anniversary - their parts are played by two young women mounted on elephants - just as the Two Sisters did when they were leading their armies against the Chinese. The commemoration begins with a religious ceremony, which is followed by a parade in which the old mingles with the new, representing all phases of the life of the country.