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Making Kitchen God figurines for Tet in Thua Thien-Hue

In the buildup to the Lunar New Year, Dia Linh village in Thua Thien-Hue province is busy producing terra-cotta statues of the Kitchen Gods to serve the high demand for the festive season.

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According to the tradition, Vietnamese people bid farewell to the Kitchen Gods on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the year, thanking them for watching over their kitchen during the year.
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It is then believed that the Kitchen Gods visit Ngoc Hoang (the Jade Emperor) in heaven to report what has happened during the year.
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The Kitchen Gods comprise two men and a woman.
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Legend has it that the lady accidentally met her ex-husband and subsequently rushed to hide the man in a bundle of hay before her husband returned home from his farming work.
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When her husband returned, he lit a fire to cook rice, causing the bundle of hay nearby to catch fire. The lady then jumped into the fire to save the ex-husband, which resulted in her current husband doing the same to rescue her, leading to all three perishing in the fire.
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So moved was the God of Heaven by the trio’s death that they were turned into the Kitchen Gods.
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The Kitchen Gods statues are made of clay first packed into a wooden mould and then dried under the sun.
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They are then burnt in kilns to impart hardness and strength before being painted in order to produce the final products.
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A local craftman says the demand for the Kitchen Gods statues remains stable as people typically change them once a year ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
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Some buyers prefer painted statues, while others are keen to purchase pure ones.
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Almost every home, regardless of its size or financial condition, features an altar which is dedicated to worshipping the Kitchen Gods.

 

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Source: VOV

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