Every year until December 23, families often make offerings to bring Cong and Tao back to heaven. This is a unique feature of Vietnamese culture that has been preserved for many generations.
The story of Ong Cong Ong Tao
According to his father’s conception from ancient times, Than Tao Quan consists of “2 grandfathers and 1 grandmother” (collectively known as Tao Quan or Ong Tao).
Attached to this concept is a folk tale about the family of Thi Nhi and Trong Cao. The couple got married forever but had no children. Trong Cao was grumpy because of this, beat his wife, and sent her away. After leaving home, Thi Nhi went to another country to meet Pham Lang. The two sides of the mind agree and then become husband and wife. Part Trong Cao, after easing his anger, began to regret and set out to find his wife. But after a long day, Cao ran out of money and had to become a beggar along the way. One day, he begged for food at Thi Nhi’s house. Right at this time, Pham Lang was away, Nhi realized that her ex-husband invited him into the house to have a full meal. Unfortunately, when Pham Lang returned, she had to hide Cao under a pile of straw in the back garden to avoid evil. Unexpectedly that night, Pham Lang set fire to the pile of stubble to collect ashes to fertilize the fields. Seeing her ex-husband burned to death, Nhi threw herself into the fire and committed suicide.
Ngoc Hoang loves 3 people who live with love, so he is appointed as the top three vegetables to take care of the kitchen work in the house. Besides, there is Mr. Cong, who is the ruler of the land, who was also sent to the heavens by the people on December 23. The image of Mr. Tao is based on the legend of 3 grandparents
The customary meaning of worshiping Mr. Cong Ong Tao
According to folklore, Mr. Cong and Mr. Tao were originally sent by God to monitor and record the good and bad deeds of mankind. And so, the Taoists come to worship on the 23rd to report back on people’s actions during that year so that the Heavenly Court can decide on merits and punishments.
Thus, Mr. Cong and Mr. Tao are the gods who determine the sand and the blessings for the family (based on morality and human lifestyle). With the desire to be blessed by the Kitchen God, people solemnly bring the Tao Quan to worship .Mr. Cong Ong Tao went to heaven to report family affairs for 1 year
Things to prepare for the farewell ceremony of Mr. Cong Ong Tao
The tray of offerings to Mr. Cong Ong Tao is usually very full; has incense, flowers, oases, fruits, areca, betel nut; along with sticky rice, chicken, spring rolls, vermicelli soup… and indispensable a code of Mr. Cong and three codes of Mr. Tao. This code is different from year to year according to the five elements; there are five shirts – hats – hia are used in yellow, five are in blue… These “votive” items will be burned after the offering ceremony.Carp, goldfish are released after making offerings
In addition, in the North, families also buy 3 more carp (or goldfish) to drop into the water bowl next to the tray. After the ceremony, they are brought to the river to release, they are considered as a means of bringing them to heaven. In addition, the carp image also conveys the aspiration of “carp turning into a dragon”, which implies sublimation, the spirit of perseverance to conquer knowledge and success.
In the Central region, it is customary to offer a paper horse with a full saddle; In the South, only offering clothes and paper hats is enough.The offering tray is full of flavors on the Tet holiday
At what time do you pray to Tao Quan?
The worshiping ceremony is usually conducted before 12 noon on the 23rd of the lunar calendar, so it can be done from noon on the 22nd of December until noon the next day. Because according to folklore, after 12 noon, the Taoist who has gone to worship the sky will not receive offerings anymore.
When making vows, people often do not ask for wealth or fullness, but only ask the Tao to report good things to the family, avoiding bad things.The worshiping ceremony of Tao Quan can take place from noon on December 22
The custom of worshiping Cong Ong Tao is a cultural and spiritual beauty of the Vietnamese people. The holiday is meant to educate about traditions in families, convey good wishes and contribute to the flavor of Tet in Vietnam.
Keyword: Learn the Vietnamese custom of worshiping Cong Ong Tao