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Lecture: Tết Lunar New Year Traditions – The Kitchen God (Ông Táo) – TOTALLY FULLl

January 14, 2023 @ 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM



Governed by tradition, taboos and legends, Tết Nguyên Đán welcomes the Lunar New Year and spring’s arrival.  It is Vietnam’s most important festival and public holiday.  The lunar and solar calendars are linked in Vietnam.  The former dictates the observance of festivals and rituals according to cycles of the moon. Hence, Tết dates are not fixed. The New Year starts on the first night of the first moon of the first month of the lunar calendar.

Also known as The ‘Feast of the First Morning of the First Day’, it is when the new and good replace old and bad elements.  People turn one year older as traditionally the New Year determines one’s age. Custom dictates actions and thoughts at the start of the lunar New Year influence one’s fate and prosperity for the coming 12 months.  Also high on the agenda are family reunions and paying respect to the ancestors.

One of Tết’s most important ritual is that of The Kitchen God or Ông Táo which signals the start of the Tết preparations. Legend says each home has three kitchen gods overseeing the household’s affairs. On the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, each kitchen god (Ông Táo ) 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 that 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.

We are delighted to welcome our lecturer, Dr Tran Doan Lam, former Editor in Chief of The Gioi publishers and one of FVH’s favourite speakers  – to  start the evening and explain the origins and rituals of Tết and the significance of the Kitchen God. We will then participate in sending the three kitchen gods, a new set of paper clothes  burnt as an offering to Ông Táo.  This is followed by a chance for everyone to release a live fish into West Lake ‘to carry your family’s report’  to the Jade Emperor.  Back inside the room we learn about a wide range of traditional Tết foods which we will then eat.

The evening includes:

  • A snapshot summary about Tết (a huge topic)
  • the legend of the Kitchen God
  •  burn paper offerings and release fish on the lakeside
  • traditional Tết buffet meal
  • evening ends of a fun interactive Tet quiz with prizes

Venue:  The Hanoi Club Hotel, 76 Yen Phu street – Tay Ho district

Time:   doors open 5.45pm, arrivals and starting the event at 6.15pm. Ending appx 9pm

Set donation: 250,000 VND pp (this includes a voucher towards the cost of water, wine or beer at the bar, 1 fish per person and a traditional Tết buffet).  Additional drinks can be purchased at the time from the bar

150,000 VND for students with current ID and children under 12 years
feel free to dress up in ao dais

Limit:   40

RSVP:   to Stella   E – stella@fvheritage.org


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January 14, 2023
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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