Before emperor Gia Long death, he left his will to have Prince Nguyen Phuc Dam succeed to his throne. On the Lunar New Year’s Day in the year of dragons (February 14, 1820) Prince Nguyen Phuc Dam ascended the throne with the dynastic title of Minh Mang emperor.
Before the coronation, the courtiers reported that event to the Heaven and the Earth at the Nam Giao Esplanade, the Xa Tac Terraces and other temples. As for Prince Dam, he also personally reported this important fact be-fore Thua Thien Highest Empress’s altar. Although being Prince Canh’s own mother, she always considered Prince Dam her own child. She died five years earlier than emperor Gia Long. Then before Thuan Thien Highest Empress’s altar, he did the same thing.
In the morning of the Lunar New Year’s Day, Minh Mang emperor coronation ceremony was officially celebrated in the Supreme Harmony Palace. The great conventional audience was observed solemnly and majestically. Royal relatives, great mandarins in official costumes were present with banners, flags, parasols and sunshades covering the sky. Around the Supreme Harmony Palace were a lot of splendid decorations.
Read more: Tomb of Minh Mang emperor
At the beginning of the fifth watch (4h00), the enormous yellow royal flag was pulled up the Flag Tower. The emperor rode the royal palanquin traveling from the Can Chanh Palace to the Supreme Harmony Palace, majestically accompanied by many military mandarins and soldiers. From the Left and Right Houses on both sides of the Dai Cung Gate were heard the rolling sounds of bells and drums.
After nine cannon shots, Minh Mang emperor ascended the royal throne located in the center of the palace. The air was full of aloe wood odor. All the mandarins, great and small alike, kowtowed five times and stood up to listen to the Gold Book and congratulation petitions. A mandarin then came out to report that it was time for the emperor to raise the national jade seal, the symbol of supreme power and authority, to stamp his first royal edict. So done, the edict was loudly read by another mandarin at that time and afterwards announced for the public to know about the coronation. In the end, it was posted up at the Pavilion of Edicts and sent to other provinces countrywide.
Finally, after nine other cannon shots of congratulation sounded, the emperor mounted the royal palanquin and came back to the Can Chanh Palace. All the mandarins lined up in two lines and kowtowed five more times to see him off.
According to the old routine, after the ceremony of coronation, Minh Mang emperor issued a favor giving edict including 10 articles: Nominating functions and titles for worth-praising royal relatives and mandarins; reducing taxes for the commoners; extenuating the prisoners; increasing scholarship for the student learners; widening the activity range of the National University,…