New Year preparations


This morning our visit from Berlin has arrived. Together with Lan I already made me at night on the way to pick up my mom and my stepfather from the Nội Bài Airport. Because we four people were not able to drive with my Honda, I borrowed a car from friends for that. In the next two weeks I’m going to slow down in the blog and not write an entry every day. Finally I have to take care of my visit. We are also determined to be more often in the vicinity of Hanoi. Otherwise, the preparations for the New Year festival are going well. On Monday the house and kitchenghost Ông Táo enters his annual trip to heaven to report the Jade Emperor back. For this reason, we are invited to the family of Phượng and Thảo to a feast. To soften up Ông Táo and to influence his report favorably, it will of course give many offerings in the form of delicious dishes. The necessity housecleaning before he left, Lan and I have already done. To protect the house in the absence of Ông Táo, which lasts one week, against evil spirits, we will set up peach-blossom bouquets and hang up traditional New Year pictures in every room. In the week before New Year’s Day there are plenty to do. In those days the markets and shops are full of people buying food and beverages, clothing and new-year-jewelry for the home. The Bánh Chưng, without the New Year is unthinkable, will be bought or made. And of course the famous red envelopes with the Lì Xì, the fortunemoney, will be prepared. Also the calligraphers have much to do again. On the eve of the new year the ancestors are symbolically invited to spend the festival with the family. Therefore there will be put special delicacies as offerings to the ancestral altar. With us that will be various fruits, Bánh Chưng, a boiled chicken, tasty chocolate and other sweets and a bottle of rice wine. Besides flowers are also a lot of false dollar bills (known as hellmoney) and gold bullion on the ancestral altar. These are burned after the ceremony to spent the ancestors in the afterlife a worry free life. The Year of the Dragon begins on January 23rd. It is greeted as each new year at midnight with a big firework. Best wishes Cathrin Cathrin’s Blog: Zwischen Traditionen und Moderne