It’s nearly Tet (Lunar New Year) in Vietnam and the atmosphere feels like Christmas in the West. This is the major holiday here, with all government offices set to close for 9 days or so, and businesses and schools following a similar schedule. People will generally go back to visit their families, often in the countryside and almost everything closes. We’ve been told to make sure we stock up on food as nothing will be open and the streets of Hanoi will be empty. We’re really looking forward to seeing that! Elena hates the traffic in Hanoi…
This week, we’ve seen a lot more fish being sold on the streets of the city and I didn’t really know why.
This afternoon Elena and I went for a walk around the lake and we saw some people releasing fish into the lake. After a little research, I found out that the reason for this.
At around this time of the year, the Vietnamese believe that the Kitchen God returns to the Heavens to report the activities of every household to the Jade Emperor, the emperor of the heavens, who either rewards or punishes a family based on the yearly report.
The Kitchen God, also known as Grandpa Apple, is thought to ride a fish to the the Heavens, so many Vietnamese will release fish in the waterways to help him on his way and bring good luck to their families.
So in honour of Grandpa Apple, here’s my fish, which I’ll release into the postal system. I hope it brings us good luck!