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Tet in Vietnam

Vietnamese New Year 2012 - Year of the Dragon

About two weeks before the Tet celebration, many temporary flower markets will arise out of nowhere, setting up their shops on streets, sidewalks and other public places and begin selling bonsais, flowers, kumquat, and apricot trees. The vibrant patchwork color created by these markets along with the influx of shoppers and merry makers makes these markets a must see.

Buying potted plants and flowers of various sizes for the Tet celebration is not only a tradition that allows families to decorate their houses and altars, but is also meant to be for the refreshment of one's spirit for the coming year. The fresh flora and fauna brings about feelings of optimism, a joy of living, and reminds each family about all they experienced the previous year.

In particular, the Mandarin Orange Tree through its shape and characteristics brings the hope of good luck and prosperity. The flowers of this tree represent the incoming year, the buds represent renewal and even more luck, while the green fruits represent the income to be realized in the coming year, and the ripe orange fruits represent the bounteous windfall that has already come to the family.

During the Tet celebration, you cannot say enough about the Earth Cake - Banh Chung. This heavy and dense cake is used by all people to give thanks and show gratitude to Mother Earth and their ancestors for a bountiful harvest and the fulfillment of wishes for happiness.

Happy New Year! Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

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Published on 12/24/11

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