Exhibition: 8 am – 12 pm and 2 – 5 pm, 02 Feb – 03 Mar 2018
(Fri, Sat, Sun: 8 am – 12 pm, 2 – 5 pm and 7 – 10 pm)
Kim Ngan Temple
42 Hang Bac, Hanoi
From the organizers:
Before the full moon day December 15 (in the lunar calendar), several Vietnamese people have started cleaning their ancestor altars, incense holders, and other sacred objects to prepare for Ong Tao (the Kitchen God in Vietnamese belief) to return to Heaven. But city people believe that it is not until December 23 that Ong Tao returns to Heaven to mark the end of a year, and it is also not until then that they have free time to prepare for his journey. Therefore, many families living in the cities only clean and prepare worshiping objects after December 23, with the hope to let go of the past and welcoming the new year with new things ahead. They often clean the altar twice, the second time with five-spice infused water to “purify” the altar which leaves a signature scent of Tết.
The arrangement of objects on the altars of Vietnamese families during Tết not only shows their gratitude and respect towards their ancestors and guardian gods, but also expresses the hope for prosperity and peace for the new year.
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Translated by Hanoi Grapevine
Lunar New Year at Hanoi Old Quarter