Hanoi’s Old Quarter bustles with festive ambience as Tet nears, red and gold decorations dominating shop fronts. Peach blossoms and kumquat laden plants and trees line other streets.
With a week to go before Tet, the Lunar New Year, residents are hitting the streets to shop for the festival and it seemed that all roads led to Hang Ma Street in the Old Quarter on Sunday.
A Tet market, open only once a year for the Lunar New Year festival, runs along Hang Luoc, Hang Khoai, Hang Ruoi, Hang Ma streets in the famed Old Quarter, selling thousands of decorations, ornamental plants and fresh flowers.
A group of girls buy various decorations to hang on peach blossom branches or trees.
Red is considered a symbol of luck and prosperity in Vietnam and most of the decorative items and offerings sport that color. From individuals to families to businesses, everyone seeks divine blessings for success and happiness.
Many families hang red hand-made scrolls, lanterns or calligraphy works in front of their homes to invite luck and prosperity.
Tien Duc has taken his children shopping to the Tet market, which will remain open until Lunar New Year’s Eve, which falls on January 31 this year.
A young man wearing a bright red dress featuring a carp and the moon buys peach blossom branch laden with bloods that will bloom in time for the New Year.
Peach blossoms are an indispensable house decoration for Tet in northern Vietnam. Peach blossom branches, plants and trees of various sizes from very small to very large, costing from a few dozen thousand dong to many millions are bought or leased during the most important Vietnamese festival.
Bronze tiger statues cost from VND18 million ($792.35).
A woman sprays water on her kumquat trees to keep them fresh.
Many streets in the Old Quarter are jammed with shoppers during rush hours.
Shoppers walk along the Quang Ba flower market on Au Co Street in Tay Ho District. The market opens every day from 3 a.m. and vendors stock up on peach blossoms and other flowers for their peak sales season.
Peach blossoms sold at the market mainly come from the Nhat Tan Village, traditionally famous for its flower gardens, and some outlying districts.
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