Oldest flower market in the capital bustling for Tet

Tuesday, 2017-01-24 09:57:29
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Walking around, enjoying oneself and buying flowers from Hang Luoc Flower Market to decorate homes during Tet has become a tradition for Hanoians each spring and Lunar New Year season. (Credit: Trung Hung)
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NDO—As a routine, every year after Kitchen God Day (the 23rd day of the twelfth month of the lunar calendar), peach branches, kumquat trees and various kinds of fresh flowers are gathered at Hang Luoc Flower Market in Hanoi, attracting thousands of Hanoians and domestic and foreign visitors to enjoy and buy flowers to prepare for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

Hanoi has many flower markets, but perhaps the oldest and most famous is on Hang Luoc Street in Hang Ma Ward, Hoan Kiem District. Running for hundreds of years, it is the only market held annually on Hang Luoc and nearby Hang Ma, Hang Khoai, Hang Chai and Thuoc Bac neighborhoods, starting from the 23rd day of the last month of the lunar calendar until Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Hanoians come to Hang Luoc to buy flowers as the branches of peach and kumquat trees here originate from the famous flower-growing villages around Hanoi such as Ngoc Ha, Tu Lien, Nhat Tan, Phu Thuong and Quang Ba, which are carefully selected before being taken to the market.

Mini pink peach branches that fit flowerpots for display on altars or on living room tables are chosen by many visitors.

Rather than giant kumquat or peach trees, small potted kumquats like this are appealing at the famous flower market in Hanoi.

In addition to traditional ornamental plants in the north, flower lovers also come to Hang Luoc to seek narcissus, one of the gaudiest flowers for Hanoians during Tet. Not many have enough capability and experience to shave narcissus bulbs and care for them so that the flowers bloom right at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Also, camellia pots...

... or chi mai (white apricot) can hardly be missed during the Tet festival by Hanoians.

In recent years, flowers from the south such as the yellow apricot and orchids, or even foreign ones like tulips, are also on sale at Hang Luoc Flower Market.

Carefully bending bonsais also attract the attention of many visitors.

Besides Tet flowers, the flower market also offers many New Year’s decorations like lanterns and couplets of various sizes and eye-catching colours.

Essential items for Tet like Tet jam, pumpkin seeds, o mai (salted or sugared dried fruits) are also available at Hang Luoc Market.

A highlight of the flower market is an always-busy corner selling antiques and reproduction antiques, with diverse products like pottery, porcelain, bronze statues, coins, stamps and ornaments.

The rooster, the mascot of the Year of the Rooster, also appears everywhere.

As Tet approaches, local and foreign tourists flock to the flower market to enjoy flowers and to shop in preparation for the upcoming new year.

Not only Hanoians, but also many Vietnamese visiting the capital city these days, are heading to Hang Luoc Flower Market to feel a typical Hanoian Tet atmosphere.

Young people also record moments in the last days of the old year.

TRUNG HUNG