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The special market in Saigon that only emerges before Tet (photos)

The special market in Saigon that only emerges before Tet (photos)

Saturday, February 06, 2016, 09:00 GMT+7

Have you ever wondered why a short section on Cach Mang Thang Tam, one of the longest streets in Ho Chi Minh City, is full of people selling a kind of big, green leaves these days?

The area is in fact a kind of special market that is held only once a year, when it is days away from the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, or Tet.

There, people will sell la dong, the special leaves used to wrap banh chung, an dispensable Tet delicacy, and the bamboo strings, called lat, used to tie the cakes.

Banh chung, or square glutinous rice cake, is a specialty made from glutinous rice and mung bean, and is synonymous with Tet.

Other essential tools to make the cake, such as the bamboo-made square frames and the big, specially shaped pots used to cook them, are also on sale at the special market, spanning 500m near the Cach Mang Thang Tam – Pham Van Hai intersection.

The bamboo frames...

...and the pots

The intersection is still known by its previous name, Ong Ta, a few dozen years ago, when people from northern Vietnam gathered there to sell la dong and other tools to make banh chung to keep their tradition.

Banh chung is typically wrapped and enjoyed by those in northern provinces and cities, while banh tet (Vietnamese traditional cylinder glutinous rice cakes for Tet) is usually preferred by their southern counterparts.

The busiest area on the la dong market at Ong Ta intersection is in front of the Tan Binh secondary school.

Sellers make use of every inch on the sidewalk to display their goods, and buyers just stop by, choose the goods, pay and leave.

The busy trading atmosphere, though causing traffic congestion some times, is seen as an indispensable part to celebrate Tet, which falls on Monday, in the southern metropolis.

There are people who have been selling la dong at the market for ten years or even two to three decades, and buyers who would never buy the special leaves anywhere other than the Ong Ta market.

Even though the market only runs less than a fortnight, it is a culture that has been practiced over the time.

Below are some photos of the market taken by a Tuoi Tre (Youth) contributor.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Have you ever wondered why a short section on Cach Mang Thang Tam, one of the longest streets in Ho Chi Minh City, is full of people selling a kind of big, green leaves these days?

The area is in fact a kind of special market that is held only once a year, when it is days away from the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, or Tet.

There, people will sell la dong, the special leaves used to wrap banh chung, an dispensable Tet delicacy, and the bamboo strings, called lat, used to tie the cakes.

Banh chung, or square glutinous rice cake, is a specialty made from glutinous rice and mung bean, and is synonymous with Tet.

Other essential tools to make the cake, such as the bamboo-made square frames and the big, specially shaped pots used to cook them, are also on sale at the special market, spanning 500m near the Cach Mang Thang Tam – Pham Van Hai intersection.

The bamboo frames...

...and the pots

The intersection is still known by its previous name, Ong Ta, a few dozen years ago, when people from northern Vietnam gathered there to sell la dong and other tools to make banh chung to keep their tradition.

Banh chung is typically wrapped and enjoyed by those in northern provinces and cities, while banh tet (Vietnamese traditional cylinder glutinous rice cakes for Tet) is usually preferred by their southern counterparts.

The busiest area on the la dong market at Ong Ta intersection is in front of the Tan Binh secondary school.

Sellers make use of every inch on the sidewalk to display their goods, and buyers just stop by, choose the goods, pay and leave.

The busy trading atmosphere, though causing traffic congestion some times, is seen as an indispensable part to celebrate Tet, which falls on Monday, in the southern metropolis.

There are people who have been selling la dong at the market for ten years or even two to three decades, and buyers who would never buy the special leaves anywhere other than the Ong Ta market.

Even though the market only runs less than a fortnight, it is a culture that has been practiced over the time.

Below are some photos of the market taken by a Tuoi Tre (Youth) contributor.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

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