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Lecture on Kitchen God and Tet traditions

The Friends of Vietnam Heritage will host a lecture on Ông Táo or The Kitchen God – one of Tet’s most important rituals which signals the start of Tet preparations.

The event will take place on February 4, from 6pm to 9.30pm at Arena Lounge, Hanoi Club, 76 Yen Phu Street.

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The Kitchen God ritual features the release a live carp into a lake or river. VNA/VNA Photo

According to legend, every family has three kitchen gods overseeing the household’s affairs. On the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, each kitchen god (Ông Táo) returns to the Jade Emperor, the King of Heaven, on the back of a carp fish. The kitchen gods report back to the Jade Emperor on each family’s affairs for that past year. People clean their houses and offer sacrifices to aid the god’s journey and ensure a good report.

Lecturer, Prof Van Lan, noted author, historian, archaeologist, will explain the origins and rituals of Tet. Attendees will then participate in sending the three kitchen gods together with a set of paper clothes which will be burnt as an offering to them. After the offering of new clothes, everyone will release a live fish into West Lake to carry their family’s report. They will then return to learn about and enjoy a wide range of traditional Tet foods.

Fee: VND250,000/adult, VND180,000/student or children under 12. Includes one drinks voucher, one fish, a quiz with prizes and a traditional Tet buffet. Contact: John Reilly by emailing lefthanded2hanoi@yahoo.com. VNS

Kitchen Gods worshipping: Vietnamese traditional belief

Kitchen Gods worshipping: Vietnamese traditional belief

For many Vietnamese, Tet (Lunar New Year) festival begins with the “Ong Cong - Ong Tao” (Land Genie and Kitchen Gods) ceremony on the 23rd of the twelfth lunar month, which falls on January 17.

Tet in a Hanoi family: Out with the old, in with the new

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Tet is a magic time when ancient customs and beliefs live on, Thuy Duong tell us about how a family in Hanoi celebrates a typical traditional Tet.

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