The YEAR of the CAT in Vietnam : Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

While the world will celebrate January 22 as the Year of the Rabbit, Vietnam will make it different by celebrating The Year of the Cat! Read the article and the beauty of the city center of Saigon all in flowers and Cats …. #MustSeeInVietnam Editor

Two days before opening, the Nguyen Hue Flower Street, a top tourist attraction during the Tet holiday, is dotted with colorful floral arrangements and 70 statues of cats in different sizes. 

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

Nguyen Hue Flower Street in District 1, one of the biggest annual draws in Vietnam’s southern metropolis during the Lunar New Year holiday, is nearly ready after half a month of hard work.

This year, the 600-meter-long street is scheduled to open to the public from 7 p.m. Thursday. 

The Year of the Cat starts this Sunday, but Vietnamese start enjoying their seven-day Tet break from Friday. 

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

A mother cat and her kittens are surrounded by a patch of colorful flowers at the section near the HCMC People’s Committee headquarters. 

Unlike in previous years, the mascot is no longer the family reunion image at the entrance of the flower street.

Instead, a five-meter-tall mother cat model sits there upright, its tail is wrapped around it’s back as if it is protecting its cubs. 

The mascots are made of foam and are painted in different colors. 

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

A cat couple, 4.5 m and 5.5 m tall, are covered with tarpaulins to fight the dust as workers are in a rush to complete the decorations in time.

The model reproduces the typical Vietnamese calico cat, a domestic cat with a tri-color coat.

Cats with calico coloration are believed to bring good luck in the folklore of many cultures.

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

Throughout the flower street, there are 70 cat mascots of various shapes and sizes made from different materials such as foam, iron, terracotta and fresh flowers. 

In the picture is a three-meter-tall cat model, created by a combination of iron, foam and green sawdust.

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

A Chibi-style cat with distinctive big eyes. 

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

A model of three cats watching a school of fish. 

As in previous years, the flower street uses environmentally friendly and reusable materials such as metal, foam, rattan, bamboo, brick and fabric. 

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the flower street, which went on to become one of the city’s tourist symbols during the Tet holiday. 

There will be a scene this year featuring statues of mascots that have appeared on the flower street over the past 20 years. 

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

One of the highlights of this year’s flower street is a 30-meter-long wooden bridge crossing a flower bed.

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

More than 100 workers are busy arranging flowers in different scenes, connecting the electrical system and cleaning up toilet facilities.

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

“This is the 13th year I have joined in decorating the Nguyen Hue Flower Street, mainly pruning trees and watering flowers,” said Tran Ngan Tuan, 50, while watering flowers.

Giant cat statues take center stage on Nguyen Hue Flower Street

The Flower Street will be open until next Thursday, the fifth day of the first lunar month.

By Quynh Tran for E.VnExpress.net

The Year of the Cat !

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