FVH to hold lecture on Tết traditions

January, 24/2019 - 12:00

As in previous years, when the lunar year comes to an end, the Friends of Vietnam Heritage (FVH) will host an annual lecture on Tết traditions on Sunday, January 27.

Making a splash: The Friends of Vietnam Heritage will host a lecture on Tết traditions, including the important Kitchen God ritual, on Sunday, January 27. — Photo sunflower.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — As in previous years, when the lunar year comes to an end, the Friends of Vietnam Heritage (FVH) will host an annual lecture on Tết traditions on Sunday, January 27.

Themed after one of Tết’s most important rituals, the Kitchen God (or ‘Ông Táo’ in Vietnamese), which signals the start of the Tết preparations, the lecture will be conducted by Professor Lê Văn Lan, a noted author, historian, archaeologist and TV presenter in Việt Nam.

Legend says each home has three kitchen gods overseeing household affairs. On the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, each god 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 the past year, returning on New Year’s Eve. People clean their houses and offer sacrifices in order to aid the god’s journey and ensure a good report.

Prof Lan will first explain the origins and rituals of Tết, and then will move on to the legend of the Kitchen God. The lecture’s attendees will participate in sending the three kitchen gods to the Jade Emperor, and a new set of paper clothes will be burnt as an offering to Ông Táo. After the offering, everyone will have chance to release their own live carp into West Lake ‘to carry their family’s report.’ This leads to the Red River, which leads to the ocean and then to the Jade Emperor.

The group will then return to learn about and experience a wide range of traditional Tết foods.

The lecture will take place at the Hanoi Club Hotel, 76 Yên Phụ Street, Tây Hồ District from 6pm until 9pm. Cost: VNĐ250,000 (including VNĐ50,000 voucher towards the cost of any soft drink or alcohol at the bar, one fish and a traditional Tết buffet). Limit: 40 people. To register, contact John Reilly by emailing lefthanded2hanoi@yahoo.com. — VNS

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