Saigonese have flooded to Tan Ky Tan Quy Street in HCMC’s Tan Phu District to buy grilled snakehead fish, one of the must have offerings on God of Wealth Day.
Tan Ky Tan Quy Street has been filled with customers in the past few days as Saigonese line up in front of stalls to buy grilled snakehead fish for the God of Wealth Day (Caishen Day or Than Tai in Vietnamese).
The God of Wealth, worshipped by families on the tenth day of the lunar year (Feb. 10 this year), is believed to bring good fortune to their business and family through the year.
Nearly a dozen stalls grilling tons of snakehead fish, a God of Wealth Day specialty, started selling at 4 a.m. to meet the high market demand.
Nguyen Trung (M) reveals his stall had been running at full capacity over the past two days.
“Every year, I import about 3,000 snakeheads (five tons) from Binh Dien wholesale market for the God of Wealth Day,” the 68-year-old said.
In the south, people usually make offerings of fruit, flowers, votive paper, incense, grilled meat and, unfailingly, grilled snakehead fish.
Thousands of grilled snakehead fish are neatly arranged on the shelves inside Trung’s stall. Employees are hard at work pre-processing fish, preparing vegetables and making sauce.
Normally, the shop only has a few employees, but on this occasion, the owner said he mobilized nearly 30 staff.
Smoke fills a corner of the street, packed with customers since Thursday morning.
Depending on size, each grilled snakehead fish costs between VND170,000-200,000 ($7.49-8.81). This price, according to many stalls, increased slightly over the previous year.
Hang, a Tan Binh District resident, buys two grilled fish on God of Wealth Day.
“Because I am a business owner, worshiping the God of Wealth is very important to me.”
After the customer selects a fish, it will be garnished with green onions and roasted peanuts before being wrapped in foil.
According to the tradition, worshipers must offer a whole fish without scraping off the scales or removing the tail.
Around 8 a.m., the surge invisitor numbers causes a traffic jam on Tan Ky Tan Quy Street.
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