Update: 09:05 | 27/01/2019
Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, his spouse, and Overseas Vietnamese coming home for the 2019 Homeland Spring
For Vietnamese, Tet (Lunar New Year festival) has actually begun with the "Ong Cong - Ong Tao" (Land Genie and Kitchen Gods) ceremony on the 23rd of the last month of the lunar year, which falls on January 28 this year.
Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong and his spouse release carps into Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake to bid farewell to the Kitchen Gods on January 26.
On this day, every family is staging a farewell ceremony for the Land Genie and the Kitchen Gods on their yearly visit of Heaven.
The Kitchen Gods, the guardian spirit of the kitchen, are believed to comprise two male gods and one female, who bless the household and keep up the kitchen fire, making every member of the family happy and well-off.
As the legend goes, the Land Genie and the Kitchen Gods will ride carps to Heaven on the day to deliver an annual report on the household's activities to the God of Heaven.
As the gods make their journey on the back of fish, it is traditional to release live carps into lakes or rivers, which is considered a kindhearted deed to pray for good luck
Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong (C) exchanges with Overseas Vietnamese after the ritual.
After the ritual, the Party and State leader talked with Overseas Vietnamese, asking them to stay united to weather difficulties, integrate into their host countries, and preserve the national identity. He sent the best wishes to all Overseas Vietnamese and their families on the occasion of the Lunar New Year festival.
As scheduled, the leader will extend Tet greetings to Overseas Vietnamese and beat the drum to kick-start the Homeland Spring Festival and an art programme at the National Convention Hall later on the day.
More than 4.5 million Vietnamese are living in over 100 countries and territories and they always have taken practical activities towards the homeland.