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Tết ông công ông Táo A.K.A. Kitchen Day

Once upon a time, there was a poor married couple who struggled. Because he was bitter about his life and circumstances, the husband, a woodcutter, began drinking heavily and became abusive toward his wife. The wife, fearful for her safety fled, met another man (a hunter), fell in love, and eventually they got married. 

Over time the woodcutter regretted his behavior, became sad, and set out to find his former wife to make amends. 

On the 23rd day of the Lunar month, the woman was burning votive paper in front of her house when a beggar showed up asking for food. The woman recognized him as her former husband who had lost everything looking for her, took pity on him, bought him rice, gave him some money and realized she still loved him. 

Afraid her new husband might not like this, the woman tried to hide this from her husband because she loved him too, but he found out and was jealous and angry and gave his wife a hard time. Feeling sad for her former husband and about the way her current husband was treating her, she ended her life by jumping into the kitchen fire. Devastated at having caused the situation and his former wife's death and because he still loved her, the woodcutter jumped into the kitchen fire and died. The hunter, guilty at overreacting, and because he loved his wife, soon followed his wife's and her former husband's example and he too, ended his life by jumping into the kitchen fire. 

For their faithfulness in loving each other, the King of the Heavens, made the wife and two husbands into gods and assigned them to oversee affairs of the home, business, and kitchen. He let them become the three stones in the kitchen where you set pots and pans to cook.

Over time the three gods became one god Ông Táo. On the 23rd day of the last month of the Lunar year, Ông Táo rides a carp to the heavens to tell the King of the Heavens about a family's year. Families will make offerings to Ông Táo, hoping that Ông Táo will tell good things about the family to the King of the Heavens. That way, they hope the King of the Heavens will love them, help them, and grant them luck and happiness for the coming year.

On the 23rd day of the of the last month of the Lunar year, people will go to lakes and put tree koi into the lakes for Ông Táo to ride to heaven. 

I'm not sure why they don't put carp in the lake, but koi are the current offering.  I have also heard different variations of this fable. 

See the pictures below. So many people put koi into the lake where I walk that the koi are now in schools.

Picture of koi schooling in lake water by a white rock
Woman (right) and man (left) walking hand in hand . Man on right has a clear plastic bag with koi in it.



JULY, p. 9

AUGUST, p. 9


OCTOBER,  p.g 2,  p. 3, p. 4

NOVEMBER p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, p.6, p.7

DECEMBER p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5 p.6, p.7, p.8


FEBRUARY, p.2, p.3, p.5