Kitchen Gods day


Vietnamese people celebrate Kitchen Gods Day is on the 23rd December of the Lunar Year. This officially marks the start of the traditional New Year.
On this day, a farewell ceremony is arranged for the Kitchen Gods. The three guardians of the family’s kitchen (as popular fairy tale about 2 men and 1 woman” who later would become the trio of Deities of Tao Quan. They will visit heaven to report about the family’s activities in a year.
Normally on Kitchen Gods Day, preparing a grand farewell for three Deities on their journey to the Heavens. The family will cook/buy a lot of delicacies to offer to the Goods as: carp, steamed sticky rice or plain porridge, dilled chicken, paper headpieces, fruits, burn paper clothes, paper carps for use by the Gods on their journeys to heaven. They clean and decorate the altar with fresh flowers. Then they laid three votive paper caps, the yellow one in the middle for Mrs. Tao and two black ones for two Mr. Tao on the altar.
There are the family prepare a large bowl of water with one live big golden carp or three small ones is kept aside. After the worshipping ceremonies are finished, the carps are all alive and will be freed into a river, lake or pond. The people believe that Tao Quan can only travel up to the Heavens with the help of Golden carps.
To Vietnamese people, the kitchen is a very important place which brings everybody in the family together as well as keeps the warmth, harmony and happiness of the famlily. So on 23 rd of the 12th lunar month, the family set a ceremony at home for farewell the Kitchen Gods.

Paper carps for use by the Gods on their journeys to heaven

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐆𝐨𝐝
A long time ago, there was a couple, Trọng Cao and his wife Thị Nhi who had got married for a long time but had not any children yet. Which made them very upset and quarred with each other frequently. One day, they quarreled over some trivial matter, Trong Cao was angry, beat and threw his wife out of their home. Thi Nhi left home and went far away. She met a kind man called, Pham Lang. Then Thi Nhi married with Pham Lang and they have a happy and peaceful life.
As time went by, Trong Cao realized his fault. He had been filled with remorse from the day he sent his wife away. He waited, and waited hopelessly for his wife’s return. Eventually, he decided to go out for find his beloved wife. He traveled far and wide, but he could not find his wife. He spent every single coin on his way and unwillingly became a beggar.
One day, starving and thirsty, he knocked on the door of a house to ask for food. He was shocked when he recognized his wife, Thi Nhi. The sudden appearance of Trọng Cao deeply moved Thị Nhi, and she invited him inside and gave him a good meal. Trong Cao’s explanation touched Thi Nhi and they talked for hours about the past and their current life.
As Pham Lang came home, Thi Nhi thought it would be awkward if the two men saw each other so she told Trong Cao to hide inside the stack of straw in the backyard. Unfortunately, Phạm Lang set fire to the straw because he needed ashes to fertilize his field. As the flames spread out, Trọng Cao accepted his fate to be burnt to death to protect Thị Nhi’s virtue. Thị Nhi was distraught because her love for Trong Cao had caused his death. Thị Nhi could neither save Trọng Cao from the fire nor tell her husband. She had no choice but to throw herself into the flames.
Phạm Lang could not understand why his wife killed herself. Filled with sorrow, he jumped into the burning fire and died with his loving wife.
However, when their souls flied to the Heavens. The Jade Emperor in the heavens knew the sad story. He was so moved by their devotion and deep love that he decided to help them to live together forever. Using his magic, he changed them into the three hearthstones around the cooking fire, where they became Kitchen Gods. Ngoc Hoang (the Jade Emperor) conferred them with the title of ‘Tao Quan”: Pham Lang would be Deity of Kitchen, Trong Cao would be the Deity of Land and House, and Thi Nhi would be the Deity of Market. Together, they looked after the well-being of people’ house and property.
Since that time, the three Kitchen Gods have been responsible for taking care of all household affairs. Each year, on the 23rd of the last month of the lunar year, the Kitchen Gods leave the kitchen, they are seen off by the owner of the house, and ride on a carp to the heavens to give a report on each family’s doings. Then they return on the Eve of the first day of the Lunar year.

Everything you need to know about Vietnam

Share Facebook