During the days just before Tet (Lunar New Year), it is easy to see motorbikes carrying all sorts of ornamental plants, while streets which are used to selling ornamental plants and flowers become crowded.
In the merry atmosphere, peach blossom, apricot blossom and kumquat trees are showing off their beauty with striking colour for traditional Tet, the most important and longest annual festival in Viet Nam.
Vietnamese people decorate their houses and offices with these ornamental plants during Tet as symbols of warmth, wealth and good luck.
Peach blossom is traditional at Tet in the north whilst apricot blossom is in the south. The kumquat tree with its ripe deep orange fruits is popular throughout the country.
|People buying kumquat trees ahead of Tet in Da Nang|
A kumquat tree with many fruits makes a house brighter and warmer, especially in the cold weather in the north. The tree is a popular decoration for the living room during Tet. Its many fruits symbolise the fertility and fruitfulness that the family hopes will come in the coming year. People believe that the more fruits are on the tree, the luckier the family will be. Greeting cards and good luck symbols are hung from the Tet tree.
Talking about ornamental plants for Tet, one cannot fail to mention peach and apricot blossom, considered as traditional Tet flowers. Apricot blossom is present at most families in the south while peach blossom is more popular in the north.
They mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring, and bring good luck to the families in the New Year, their colour is the symbol of happiness. They are absolutely beautiful when they are full bloom but become really impress when they are tumbling down in the drizzling, covering the ground with pink petals.
Peach blossom is an enduring symbol of the Lunar New Year. Tourists often flock to Nhat Tan (Ha Noi), the largest peach cultivating area, to have a better understanding of the art of growing the trees which is passed from generation to generation.
Lunar New Year is a fete of the family, and the time for family members to gather at home to enjoy warm atmosphere.
Every Vietnamese family has their own way celebrating the New Year, but they share the same symbol of Tet in their mind, which distinct Vietnamese cultural characteristics.
The symbol is an indispensable part of Vietnamese traditional Tet, and brings the Tet flavour to every family when the day comes.
In addition to such national dishes and products as “Fat pork, pickled onions, parallel sentences written on red paper, Long bamboo poles planted upright, strings of fireworks, and square glutinous rice cakes”, it is indispensable for each Vietnamese family to mark their Tet with colourful golden kumquat trees, peach blossom as well as yellow apricot flowers as the symbol of good fortune for the coming year.