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Professor Le Van Lan to talk about Lunar New Year rituals

Professor Le Van Lan, a famous author, historian, archaeologist, and television celebrity in Vietnam, will talk about the origin and rituals of Tet (Lunar New Year holiday) at the Hanoi Club Hotel on January 27.

Professor Le Van Lan, a famous author, historian, archaeologist, and television celebrity in Vietnam, will talk about the origin and rituals of Tet (Lunar New Year holiday) at the Hanoi Club Hotel on January 27.


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People visit a pagoda to pray for good luck on Tet 


This is part of a series of events held annually by non-profit educational group Friends of Vietnam Heritage to promote traditional festivals and rituals.

Tet Nguyen Dan (or Tet) is the most important and longest festival and public holiday in Vietnam. Since the lunar calendar dictates the observance of festivals and rituals according to cycles of the moon, Tet dates are not fixed.

The Lunar New Year starts on the first night of the first moon of the first month of the lunar calendar. This year, Tet will take place in early February.

Also known as “the Feast of the First Morning of the First Day”, Tet is when the new and good replace old and bad things. According to Vietnamese people, actions and thoughts during Tet may influence their fate and prosperity for the entire year. Family reunions and paying respect to the ancestors are among the most important things to do on this occasion.

One of Tet’s most important rituals is Le Ong Tao (Kitchen Gods’ Day). Legend has it that each home has three kitchen gods taking care of everything. On the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, each kitchen god returns to heaven to meet the Jade Emperor (King of Heaven) on the back of a carp fish.

The kitchen gods report the activities of every household over the past year to the Jade Emperor and then return to Earth on New Year’s Eve. People clean their houses, release live fish, and offer sacrifices in order to aid the god’s journey and ensure a good report.

After Professor Le Van Lan’s summary about Tet and presentation about the Kitchen Gods, participants will receive clothes made of paper, which will be burnt as an offering to the Kitchen Gods.

They will then have a chance to release live fish into the West Lake and return to learn about and experience a wide variety of traditional Tet dishes.

Admission fee is VND250,000 per adult, VND125,000 per student and VND100,000 per child under 15 years old.

For further information, contact John Reilly by writing to lefthanded2hanoi@yahoo.com.

SGT

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