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Xuan An communal house
Xuan An communal house was built in 1794 and completed in the next years. It has been located at Xuan An hamlet, Cho Lau town, Bac Binh district, 65 km North of Phan Thiet city.
The ancient geographic considered the land to choose the standing position for the communal house according to the ancient oriental theory of geomancy (the science of winds and waters), because this is a very important and significant thing with very great influence on the villagers' lives later. The communal house was built in the centre of Xuan An village, with its main side facing toward the southern direction; not far away from it in the South is the rive Luy; in front of it there are several high sand caverns used as wind stops.
Xuan An communal house is one of the ancient ones with its large scale and unique original art architectural style. The house for worshiping the God consists of 48 big poles made of special wood sorts, dividing this communal house into 7 compartments and 2 wings. This communal house has got the architectural style of "double house" with 2 house frames on one base, the front house and the back one linking and connecting with each other by the system of ceiling with curved roofs making the communal house larger. Its roof has been tiled upwards and backwards with two ends slightly higher and the middle lower. This roof has been divided into 2 parts: the upper and the lower. All of its chitectural combining parts such as rafter ends, pillar ends, middle bar poles, screw jacks etc... have been carved skillfully; creating complicated art decoration works. Here there has been harmonious combination between the architectural structure and fine art decoration, both force - bearing use and very high aesthetic effect; these are the building workers' main values left until now.
The communal house's interior has been divided into many sections with the central one for worshiping the village's Tutelary God, the two sides for worshiping the Left and the Right Groups and the Forefathers having their merits and contribution in constructing their village. The special thing in Xuan An communal house is the shrine for worshiping the Goddess Thien YaNa Dien Ngoc Phi (the Cham's Goddess) - beside the shrine for worshiping the God. Each shrine has been decorated and sculptured in art with the system of horizontal boards inscribed with Chinese characters, balustrades, parallel scrolls red - lacquered and trimmed with gold and its sight wall bordered by the sculpturing technique. In this communal house, there are also lots of couplets, parallel scrolls and horizontal boards inscribed with ancient figure Square characters whose contents and meanings have not been known yet until now.
The communal house for worshiping "Tien Hien" also has the structure of 48 poles but only one roof; here there are several shrines for worshiping the generations of Tien Hien, Hau Hien.
Xuan An communal house now still has preserved hundreds of horizontal boards inscribed with Chinese characters, couplets with a lot of humane values, which advise everyone to remember his origin and ancestors all the time.
In this communal house, they have still kept its ancient Great Bell of the epoch in King Tu Du the second's time (Ky Dau 1849) and 8 nominations offered to the Gods worshiped in the communal house by Nguyen Dynasty' s Kings and now they have been preserved and worshiped by the local authority and people. According to the Vietnamese tradition and customs, here every year the local people carry out the rituals of Spring offering sacrifices on the 16th and 17th of Lunar February and the rituals of Autumn one on the 16th and 17th of Lunar August.
Xuan An communal house was classified as the National Art - Architectural place of historical interest in 1993 by the Government.