President joins OVs in traditional carp release ritual in HCMC

President Vo Van Thuong and his spouse on February 2 joined overseas Vietnamese (OV) in a traditional ritual of releasing carps at Nha Rong Wharf on the day for “Ong Cong, Ong Tao” (Land Genie and Kitchen Gods).

President Vo Van Thuong (second, right, front), his spouse and leaders of HCMC release carps as part of the “Ong Cong, Ong Tao” worshipping ritual. (Photo: VNA)

In Vietnamese tradition, Land Genie and Kitchen Gods worshipping ritual is held on the 23rd day of the last lunar month, which falls on February 2 this year. It is also considered the start of the Lunar New Year (Tet) Festival - the biggest and most important traditional holidays of Vietnamese.

As the legend goes, “Ong Cong” (Land Genie) is the one in charge of land while “Ong Tao” (Kitchen Gods), consisting of two males and one female, are those who keep a watch over kitchen affairs of a family. They take note of a family’s issues in a year and will ride carps back to the Heaven on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month to report all the good and bad things of that family to the God of Heaven.

This year, the ritual drew 100 OVs who are participating in the annual “Xuan Que huong” (Homeland Spring) program 2024.

In 2023, with the leadership of the Party and State as well as the consensus of the whole nation, including more than 6 million OVs, Vietnam overcame difficulties and gained many important achievements, maintaining economic growth impetus, ensuring social welfare, firmly protecting national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and enhancing the country’s image, position and prestige in the world arena.

President Vo Van Thuong and OVs pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh. (Photo: VNA)

Before conducting the carp release ritual, President Thuong, his spouse and the OVs offered incense and flowers in tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh and late President Ton Duc Thang.

The image of a carp swimming upstream and then leaping over the falls to turn into a dragon as a symbol of steadfastness in surmounting challenges to secure success.

At the Nha Rong Wharf, President Thuong and his spouse welcomed the OVs returning home.

Also on February 2, the State leader and his entourage spent a minute of silence in commemoration of President Ho Chi Minh at the President Ho Chi Minh statue park on Nguyen Hue street in district 1.

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