Hanoi covered in fog, market crowded with people shopping for Tet’s Kitchen Gods in the early morning

From as early as 5am, when the sky is still dim and the mist covers everything, many people rush to the market to buy offerings, in order to perform the traditional ceremony for the Kitchen Gods, according to popular beliefs.


Hanoi residents go shopping for the Kitchen Gods starting early in the morning.

According to the belief of the Vietnamese people, every year before 12:00 pm on the 23rd day of the lunar month, the Kitchen Gods will fly to heaven, so the ritual of worshiping the Kitchen Gods must take place before this time. Following this tradition, today families in Hanoi are preparing to shop for ritual items since early morning.

Many local markets are crowded, even before dawn and shrouded in mist.

Reporters have observed that since early morning on February 2nd, both sellers and buyers at the markets have been very busy. Vehicles delivering goods have been constantly arriving to meet the sudden surge in demand.

At Hang Be market (Hoan Kiem district), many stall owners said they had to wake up at 3:00 am to prepare goods in order to supply the early morning buyers. As soon as the market opened, customers crowded in, everyone rushing and bargaining to make their choices.

Famous chicken with roses dish at Hang Be market is being sold for 350,000 – 400,000 dong per piece.

Delivery services are working at full capacity. “Yesterday, our store received a lot of orders for chicken, sticky rice, so starting at 4:00 am today, we have prepared enough goods to serve our customers,” said a chicken seller.

Gac sticky rice, steamed colored sticky rice, and five-color sticky rice are priced at 50,000 – 100,000 dong per dish.

Fresh flowers are also in high demand this morning. Roses and chrysanthemums are sold for 7,000 – 10,000 dong per flower. Even small and less beautiful flowers are priced at 6,000 dong per flower, not the usual price of 5,000 dong per flower like previous days.

Other types of flowers have also increased in price. Red lilies are sold for 50,000 – 60,000 dong per branch, while yellow lilies are sold for less than 40,000 dong per branch, an increase of 5,000 – 10,000 dong per branch.

Areca betel nuts are also very expensive this morning, rising to 10,000 – 15,000 dong/set (including 1 betel nut and 1 betel leaf), three times higher than usual.

Gio cha (Vietnamese sausage) and banh chung (square sticky rice cake) are indispensable in the traditional Vietnamese Lunar New Year feast.

Various types of fruits have also slightly increased in price compared to normal days.

Carp fish remains stable in price, ranging from 25,000 – 30,000 dong per fish (small size) to 35,000 – 40,000 dong per fish (big size).

Early customers have been able to buy the desired items.

“Every year, I wake up at 4:00 am to go shopping for the Lunar New Year ritual items. This morning, I bought more peach branches and fresh flowers for worshiping the Kitchen Gods. Going to the market early on the day of the Kitchen Gods’ sending-off is always rushed, but it is a very interesting feeling,” said one customer.

Despite the cold weather and thick fog, people still go to the market early in the morning to prepare the offering tray to send off the Kitchen Gods before 12:00 pm today.

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