What is special about the New Year of the Apple Army in Vietnam and Asian countries?

Not only Vietnam but also a number of countries in Asia such as China, Japan, and Korea also have the custom of worshiping Mr. Cong and Mr. Tao.

According to the traditional custom of the Vietnamese people, every year on December 23, families prepare offerings, offerings, and offerings to Cong Ong Tao. This day is also known as the New Year of the Gods. Since ancient times, Vietnamese people believe that Tao Quan is the god who protects the family, and at the end of the year, Tao Quan will go to heaven to report all good and bad things to the Jade Emperor. On New Year’s Eve, the new Tao Quan returned to earth to continue his job of looking after the family fire.

The offerings to Mr. Cong Ong Tao on December 23 include: Three hats of Mr. Cong and Mr. Tao, including two hats of Mr. Tao with flying wings, and one hat of Mrs. Tao without wings. In addition to the set of hats, families often prepare a savory tray with other offerings such as confectionery, betel nut, wine, incense, candles, vases of fresh flowers, plate of five fresh fruits, gold coins and 3 live carp. .

What is special about the New Year of the Apple Army in Vietnam and Asian countries?
A tray of offerings to Cong Ong Tao of the Vietnamese people. (Photo: @nghiemthuytrang68).

What is special about the New Year of the Apple Army in Vietnam and Asian countries?
People release carp to see off Tao Quan on December 23. (Photo: @pum.nguyenn).

The Lunar New Year in China is similar to the Vietnamese people. On December 23, the kitchen gods of the families worship the heavens, reporting to the Jade Emperor about people’s good and bad deeds for a year.

The Chinese call their kitchen god Apple King. The tray of rice offered to the Chinese kitchen god consists of a handful of glutinous rice, sugar cakes, deep-fried donuts, and bean soup.

According to the concept, the Chinese Apple King has only one grandfather and one grandmother. They often set up an altar in the kitchen with pictures or statues of Mr. Tao and Mrs. Tao.

What is special about the New Year of the Apple Army in Vietnam and Asian countries?
The Chinese prepare votive papers for the New Year of the Apple Army. (Photo: Xinhua).

On December 23, people often smear honey on paintings or statues of Apple King. In China, instead of offering carp, people often offer water and some dry grass, considering this as food for horses to bring the Tao Quan to heaven.

Koreans worship the kitchen god on December 29 and call their kitchen god Jowangsin. On this day, the people of the land of kimchi sincerely prepare a meal consisting of fruits and fried rice cakes to pay their respects.

According to legend, Jowangsin was a woman, she was a goddess in the form of water. Her appearance is to help Korean families wash away all bad luck and welcome peace and good things in the new year.

What is special about the New Year of the Apple Army in Vietnam and Asian countries?
Offerings to the Korean kitchen god.

Therefore, Koreans often put a small cup of water under the kitchen, this cup of water will be changed regularly by the woman in the house on the 1st and full moon of every month.

Singaporeans also conduct the ritual of worshiping the kitchen god on December 23 every year like the Vietnamese. They have the custom of burning the Apple mannequin to send him off to heaven. As in Vietnamese beliefs, Mr. Tao returned to heaven to report to the Jade Emperor the situation of the past year and look forward to a new year full of joy and happiness.

After reporting, on New Year’s Eve Mr. Tao will return to the earth to take care of the fire of each house.

The basic tray is quite similar to that of the Vietnamese. But the only difference is that they will spread honey, sugar, and sweet wine on the lips of Mr. Apple with the hope that the Tao Quan will report good things to the Jade Emperor.

The Japanese have a male god Daikokuten, who is the god of household affairs, the kitchen, and the fortune of the owner. In the concept of Japanese folklore, he is the god of cereals, one of the seven lucky gods.

The god Daikokuten has a large face, a cheerful smile and is usually painted dark brown. The ancient Japanese believed that at the year-end market, if anyone “steals” a picture or statue of the god Daikokuten without being “caught red-handed”, that person will have a lot of luck in the new year.

The god Daikokuten usually carries a golden mallet, this is a lucky mallet, bringing money, the god is often depicted sitting on a rice bowl and having rats run around by rats in Japanese culture, implying for good luck. the owner has a lot of food to eat, the mouse knows that he should come to “beg for food”.

On New Year’s Eve, the Daikokuten statue will be sold as a lucky item to bring home good luck. The image of the god Daikokuten was previously depicted on Japanese banknotes.