Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fun Hanoi's flower street for Tet

The Vietnamese  lunar new year festival (Tet) is regarded as the greatest holiday in Vietnam. Going to visit temples in new year is a tradition of Vietnamese during the Tet, that I have talked about in previous blog. Today I would like to share about our tradition before Tet - going to "Chợ Hoa ngày Tết" or Tet's flower market. 

A week before the Tet, as a tradition, Hanoian citizens eagerly go & enjoy watching in flower market or “flower streets” which are suddenly taken place in some specific big streets around the city.
This year, across Hoang Quoc Viet, Ho Tung Mau , Nghi Tam, Tran Nhan Tong, Hang Dau streets, two sides were very more crowded than any time of the year with so many people looked for their favorite flower/ bonsai trees to buy decorate their houses. In a mood want to go experience this excited atmosphere of flower market, we decided to go around and would stop in busy flower street when we hit.
A few days before that day, I and my fiend had passed by Vincom mall where we saw it more colorful by flowers sold here.
In our curiosity, my friend and I stopped by to see. A flower shop was displaying their colorful beauty of different types of orchids. Each orchid branch cost about 250-350 000 VND. & normally there are at least from 5-10 orchids in one case.
Anyway, Vincom was not our prior destination before Tet. Somewhere open, outdoor, busy of flowers mixed with local people? That day, I and D headed to Hang Dau garden, which was 10 minute by walk from Dong Xuan market, to have our picture tour of flower market.
Different colorful flowers were gathered here as our expectation. Kumquat were arranged in both sides of street. And we had great time watching different flowers and bonsais. There were a lot of people there when we came, that seems like the flower street started from early.
As a tradition, Hanoian normally take a kumquat or peach blossom or both to refresh their homes and greet the spring. My parents had bought two kumquats at home some days before. In my impression, this year's kumquat were more beautiful and bigger than last year due to a long cold period of time before the Tet, making the trees last longer & fresher.
Red daicon symbolizes for good health, longevity & strength of a year. This is a great bonsai to decorate in the table of living room in many Hanoian houses. Also it was kind of reasonable even just only to decorate during 2 weeks when each one cost 300-350 000 VND.
Basically, yellow & white apricot blooms in the south, peach blossoms bloom in the north. But in many recent years, since the flower demand of Vietnamese have been diverse, it’s been more common to see such many yellow apricot flowers in Hanoi, among forest of traditional peach flowers.
Some apricot & peach trees were pruned by the gardeners & displayed as dragon or phoenix-shaped bonsai, which a tiny one can cost 1.5 mil VND and a medium one like this can cost from 3- 5 mil VND.
One of my favourite flowers is orchid. A vivid explosion of orchids hit Hang Dau garden, making me busy to take pictures of their beauties.
Small colorful orchids are a more common sight during the Tet, even though their prices are not cheap at all. This is one of most expensive flower types in Tet.
This man, when busy wrapping the vase into his motobike, he told us this orchid vase cost 5 mil VND. OMG, too much... but beautiful.
While we were taking pics of flowers, a small boy was taking photo of his older brother. He looked professional & knew how to do it. That was a good day to take photos of flower market tour.

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