In Vietnam, the Kitchen God is the subject of a special ritual that occurs in most households a week or so before Tết, the lunar new year, that is designed to facilitate this deity’s annual return to heaven. This ritual and its associated beliefs are the subject of the first part of this paper. We then turn to another Tết event, the annual TV comedy show based on the Kitchen God, called “Meeting Each Other at Year’s End.” This show satirises a wide variety of controversial everyday problems faced by ordinary people. We use an analytical framework derived from the anthropology of performance in combination with the sociology of humour to analyse the nature of this show and the ways in which it fulfils its aims of both entertaining a large audience and reflecting critically on the life of the nation.
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