Vietnamese New Year preparations in HCMC
We were in Ho Chi Minh City one week before Tet (‘tết nguyên đán’) – Vietnamese New Lunar Year. The city was buzzing with the preparations. City parks were being decorated and colorful sculptures were built. At every corner you could see a flower market.
Vietnamese people buy new clothes to wear during Tet. Here, red is a colour of good luck, so many people wear red during Tet. We’ve seen many street shops selling red clothes.
Houses are decorated with red lanterns, red spring couplets, paper cuttings, and New Year’s paintings. Putting up those decorations is thought to keep evil away and pray for blessing, longevity, health, wealth and peace.
In Vietnam, it’s considered good luck to decorate your home with flowers and plants during Tet holiday.
You can buy special Tet flowers and plants, or you can use traditional plants like peach branches, apricot blossoms, and bamboo.
The most popular Tet flower is the peach blossom. Also kumquat trees, orange trees, and mandarin trees are often bought and placed in many homes to welcome wealth, luck, and prosperity.
During preparation time you’ll see trees and bushes being transported by motorbike or a car around the city. You’ll also spot many markets selling those trees packed like a western Christmas tree.
One week before Tet we have seen many people wearing traditional clothes (for women – Ao Dai dress) taking pictures around the city to welcome the New Lunar Year. Many of them even engaged a professional photographer.
Witnessing this abundance of colors and the raising holiday spirit made us feel very lucky being in HCMC during this special time.