The traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) is the biggest and oldest festival in Vietnam, bringing its people together to celebrate the sacred and meaningful annual event. Tet is an occasion when members of a family, no matter where they are and what they do to earn a living, get together and pray in front of the ancestral altar. Their return to home in celebration of Tet is regarded as a journey back to their birthplace. For most Vietnamese, Tet actually begins with the “Ong Cong – Ong Tao” (Land Genie and Kitchen Gods) ceremony on the 23rd of the last month of the lunar year, which fell on January 23 this year. The Kitchen Gods are believed to comprise of two male and one female spirit, who bless the household and keep up the kitchen fire, making every member of the family happy and prosperous. According to legend, the Land Genie and the Kitchen Gods will ride carps to Heaven on the 23 rd to deliver an annual report on the household’s activities to the God of Heaven. As the gods make their journey on the back of fish, it is traditional to release live carps into lakes or rivers,…
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