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The stove is considered the soul of the family. The Vietnamese believed that good stoves will guarantee peace in the family, while bad ones bring strife. The standing mud-covered brick stoves in a traditional Vietnamese kitchen are huge. They are built up from the floor against a wall of the kitchen and look something like altars and in fact, they are. The family stove, apart from its functional importance, was believed to house the Kitchen God, also called the Lord of the Hearth, one of the oldest gods worshipped in Vietnam.
Hang Ma is the street where sacred papers are sold and it entered its busy period around one month ago. The street is decorated in red and yellow, the colors of traditional sacred paper products. Today Ma street seem become more crowed with people. They are flocking the street and buy worship items for the Kitchen God’s day( 23rd of the last month of lunar year).
To prepare for the journey of Kitchen God to the Heaven, the worship items are included: Votive, snacks, sweet cakes, fruít….. Votives with paper carps, horses and clothing (hats, robes and boots), are very important. Following the old legend and still in some countryside homes, cooking occurs over clay tripods. Three stones were all that was needed to hold up the pot over the fire. Few people spend time thinking about the nature of the Kitchen Gods or the specific meaning of the items that are associated with them. The three Hearth Gods are represented at Tet by three hats and shops sell sets of three miniature paper hats: two men’s hats and one woman’s. These are burned as offerings to Ong Tao. The God will also need a new pair of boots to wear as he travels to Heaven. Two favorite gifts for the triad of household deities are gold and wine. In the central part of Vietnam, cooking tripods or blocks that make up the family hearth, even if they are still usable, are ritually discarded when the God leaves. One week later, new blocks will greet his return or the arrival of his replacement assigned by the Jade Emperor.
Nowadays, Everything changes, people think that :Tran sao am vay(Life in the earth is same underworld). That’s why besides the traditional worship items, they burn modern funiture like: paper mobile, paper house, paper motorbike…
After the Kitchen God has left, preparations one week ( from 23rd to 30th of lunar month) for the New Year festivities begin. After the Kitchen God’s day People will clean and decorate their home with hoping removing old year and welcome New year with good things for their families