Osius was involved in an ancient festival on Wednesday to honour the Kitchen God (Tao Quan) before he leaves for his annual trip to report to the Jade Emperor in Heaven on the goings on in the family over the past year. The ambassador also prayed for luck for his family and for Vietnamese people. "Several years ago, my Vietnamese teacher helped me learn about this beautiful tradition of releasing carp," he said. "Nineteen years ago, I was teaching English to a group of Vietnamese students. They offered me a beautiful branch of peach blossom. They also taught me and my family about the traditions of Tet," he said. This year, to celebrate new year, Osius's family cooked banh chung (glutinous rice cake) in his house. "I know that cooking banh chung is a big event in Vietnamese family during Tet. Banh chung is the symbol for the relation between the sky, the Earth and the people," he said. Several other ambassadors are also deeply impressed by the joyful ambience of Tet - the crowded and bustling streets and beautiful traditions.
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