Young Vietnamese prep for Kitchen Gods’ heavenward journey

Vietnamese throughout the country are busy readying their households for the traditional storied trip of Vietnam’s family god to heaven on Thursday. In Vietnamese culture, the Kitchen Gods are characters regarded as part of the family meant to serve as a link between heaven and earth. As the legend goes, the gods ride a common carp every year to heaven on the 23rd day of the twelfth Vietnamese lunar month, several days before Tet (Lunar New Year), in order to report to the heavenly emperor on any of the family’s problems or deeds, good or bad, from the year. Tet begins on Feburary 16 and celebrations are normally ongoing during the week before and after the date. Dishes offered to the Vietnamese Kitchen Gods. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, Hanoi Accordingly, Vietnamese people attach significance to this year-end departure by tidying the kitchen and making offerings on a specially designed alter. In advance of the event, throngs of young mothers and women took to social media to share their preparations and tips for the special day. Nhu Trang, a Hanoi resident, created trays of offerings for the Kitchen Gods’ journey, each filled with appetizing prepared foods, fruits, and peach blossoms – northern Vietnam’s symbol for Tet. Hung Giang, another Hanoi resident, shared recipes for fried spring rolls, carp-shaped xoi (sweet food made of glutinous rice), and cha lua (Vietnamese pork sausage) on social media so that others might provide them for the Kitchen Gods. Thanh Truc, in Thu Duc… [Read full story]

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