Vietnam is a pretty loony place all throughout the year ( a big reason why I love it here), but is most so around Tet, their massive lunar holiday.
Before I spotted this lady I spent an hour or two watching people try to win the favor of Tao Quan, the Kitchen God. This particular god comes down from heaven once a year and checks to see who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Those with good marks are rewarded with food, spices, clothes and money. Being Vietnam, it is very natural to think that you can make up for any annual vices through a modest bribe. The best way to buy off this god is to provide him with a ride back to heaven, and it just so happens that this god prefers to travel by fish. So the thought is, if you hurl enough fish into the river, he just might choose yours for the journey.
It gets real loony when people take this a bit too far and start “offering” just about anything you could imagine. I saw several tables, some pots, food, flowers, money, and dirt dumped off of Long Bien Bridge. But predominately it was gold-fish or red carp who took the big plunge, usually still in a plastic bag. If they were dumped from the bag first, then the bag would be just a second behind. Some would opt for a drive by tossing, and often missed the water completely. So after a few thousand repentant Hanoians have made their offerings the river is absolutely trashed, and that is why this lady appears to be in a dump. But I’m sure the Kitchen God is extremely proud.
Remember to check out Chasing Shadows interpretation of lunacy.