Village breeds fish as offerings for Kitchen's Gods

(VOVworld) Vietnamese families traditionally pay homage to the kitchen gods of Tao on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month. Their offerings to the kitchen Gods include red carps as they believe that Tao rides a red carp to heaven in lunar December to deliver his annual report on the household's activities. At this time of the year, red carp breeders in Thuy Tram village in the northern province of Phu Tho are busy supplying their customers with “spirit fish”. The trade has brought the villagers a much more comfortable life.

Village breeds fish as offerings for Kitchen's Gods  - ảnh 1
A fishing-breeding pond in Thuy Tram village

Thuy Tram village in Tuy Loc commune used to be a remote mountainous village with no trade to be developed. Red carp first appeared in the area more than 30 years ago when local fish trader Tran Van Sau returned one day with four strange-looking red carps which he bought from a fish seller. They were odd-looking red fish that Sau had never seen before. As carp are yellow, other villagers thought these might be spirit fish and advised Sau to free them in the river. In time the villagers grew to accept the fish and later that year, some people asked Sau to buy that fish as an offering to their Kitchen Gods. When demand continued, Sau decided to breed the fish for sale and made a good profit. Other households in Tuy Loc commune then followed Sau and got involved in this trade. Nguyen Van Quan, an administrative officer in Tuy Loc commune says Thuy Tram village now has 500 out of 564 households involved in this business: "This trade has brought us revenues which triple rice cultivation. Some villagers take these fish to sell in other regions and even earn even more. On average, each household earns as much as 250 USD for Tet from breeding this fish." Red carps are hardy and grow fast without too much care. However, fish breeders in Thuy Tram do not want their carps growing big. Each family has some ponds for fish breeding but each of these ponds is only 7 meters square with 700 carps living in each square meter. Fish breeder Nguyen Van Duc says: "As these are offering fish for the Kitchen Gods, we do not want them to grow big. They should be the size of a person’s finger at maximum."
Mr. Quan says that some good fish breeders can earn thousands of USD annually. They can harvest 150 kilos of fish from each of their ponds, which can later be sold for 8 USD per kilo. He adds: "We have done our best to maintain and develop this trade as it has high profitability and has brought the local people good incomes. All households involved in this trade now have stable incomes and a comfortable life."
After the 15th day of the 12th lunar month, people in Tuy Loc commune become busy fulfilling customers’ orders. On Kitchen Gods’ Day, the village delivers 40 tones of red carps to people across Vietnam.