Red carp ready to give Kitchen Gods a ride back to heaven ahead of Tet

By Ngoc Thanh   February 6, 2018 | 02:04 pm GMT+7

It is believed the guardians of Vietnamese homes will report back to the Jade Emperor if we've been good or bad the past year.

Fish farmers in many parts of Vietnam, especially in the north, get their hands all busy these days as it is the harvesting season of red carps, which are believed to be a transport means for the Kitchen Gods, who is in charge of looking after Vietnamese families and record the good and bad deeds they have done.

Fish farmers in many parts of Vietnam, especially in the north, have their hands busy at the moment harvesting red carp. Legend has it that the Kitchen Gods, who are in charge of looking after Vietnamese families and recording their good and bad deeds, ride the fish back to heaven before Tet, or Lunar New Year.

Thuy Tram Village in the northern province of Phu Tho is home to one of the biggest red carps farm in Vietnam. As a tradition, Vietnamese will release the red carps on the 23rd day of the last lunar month, which will fall on Thursday this year, so that the Kitchen Gods can ride back to heaven and report to the Jade Emperor what human have done during the past year.

Thuy Tram Village in the northern province of Phu Tho is home to one of the biggest red carp farms in Vietnam. Following tradition, the carp are released into rivers on the 23rd day of the last lunar month, which will fall on Thursday this week, so that the Kitchen Gods can ride them back to heaven and report what humans have been doing for the past year to the Jade Emperor, before returning a day before the new lunar year.

Farmers in Thuy Tram, a village in Tuy Loc Commune of Phu Tho, 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of Hanoi, spare 30 hectares (3,000 ares) to raise red carps and harvest up to 40 tons of the fish each year.

Farmers in Thuy Tram, 120 kilometers (75 miles) northwest of Hanoi, raise red carp on an area of 30 hectares (3,000 acres) and harvest up to 40 tons of the fish each year.

They started to let the fish mate in June. The strong fish which is used for mating receive special care and live in a separated pond.

The fish started mating in June. The stronger fish that are used for mating receive special care and live in a separate pond.

Farmers only sell fingerlings and keep the parent fish for the next season or sell them at a much higher price. All members in my families have to join a hand these days or call for help from neighbors to catch the fish because once we drain the ponds, we have to catch the fish as quick as we can or else they will die from a lack of oxygen, said a farmer named Nguyen Thi Thien.

Farmers only sell fingerlings and keep the parent fish for the next season or sell them for a much higher price. “All of my family have to work together at this time of year, and sometimes we have to ask our neighbors for help because we need to catch the fish quickly when we drain the ponds or else they will die from lack of oxygen,” said a farmer named Nguyen Thi Thien.

The fish will be categorized to sell at different prices as those with spots and lines are less favored.

The fish are categorized and sold for different prices. Fish with spots or stripes are less favored.

This parent fish costs VND150,000 ($7).

This parent fish costs VND150,000 ($7).

According to farmers here, 6 kilograms of parent fish will produce 200 kilos of fingerlings.

According to farmers, 6 kilos of parent fish produce 200 kilos of fingerlings.

My family produces 300 kilos of fish this year. We will sell them at VND120,000 per kilo, said a farmer named Ha Cong Vu. He added that the price of red carps is higher this year compared to VND80,000 per kilo last year.

“My family has produced 300 kilos of fish this year, and we'll sell them for around VND120,000 per kilo,” said a farmer named Ha Cong Vu. He added that the price of red carp is higher this year compared to VND80,000 per kilo last year.

Wholesalers will retail the fish across the northern region, where the tradition of releasing red carps is preserved better.

Wholesalers will sell the fish across the entire northern region, where the tradition of releasing red carp is better preserved.

 
 
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