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Khanh Hoa hosts 2019 salangane nest festival

The 2019 Salangane Nest Festival kicked off on Hon Noi island, which lies about 20 kilometres from Nha Trang city in central Khanh Hoa province, on June 12, drawing more than 900 participants.

The festival is held annually by the Khanh Hoa Salangane Nest Company to honour the founder and supporters of local edible bird nest production business.

A ritual ceremony was performed at the temple of Governor and Holy Mother of the Island to recall the history of the industry. The festival also dedicated to individuals and organisations contributing to developing the salangane nest resources.

Legend has it that the Rear Admiral of the Tran Dynasty (1225-1440), Le Van Dat discovered edible bird nests on the Phu Binh Khang coastal waters (in Khanh Hoa province today) on his business trip to the South.

He later taught local people how to exploit the nests which earned him the title the founder of the industry.

His descendant, the Grand Admiral of the Tay Son Dynasty (1778-1788), Le Thi Huyen Tram and many soldiers sacrificed their lives to protect the country’s waters and salangane islands. She was honoured the Holy Mother of the Island.

The salangane lives in caves on limestone cliffs and makes nest using its own saliva. The nest is a popular but an expensive traditional dish which is believed to have health benefits.

Khanh Hoa is home to the largest salangane population in Vietnam.

The Khanh Hoa Salangane Nest Company has to date developed over 170 salangane-breeding caves on 33 islands spanning from Quang Binh to Kien Giang provinces.