Displaying decorative trees shaped like different animals has long been a hallmark amongst Vietnamese Lunar New Year decoration, with Mekong Delta farmers striving year-after-year to introduce new animal-like creations to the market.
This year, the Lunar New Year, or Tet, will start on January 28. As each year honors an animal, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, as indicated in the lunar calendar.
Artisans in Ben Tre Province have therefore pruned and clipped trees into various forms of poultry, ready to embrace the holidays.
Kumquat trees shaped as roosters, hens, and chicks are put on display along the National Highway No.57 in Cho Lach District, for visitors to stop by to place their orders.
Le Hoang Vinh, a tree-shaping artisan, said that while it is easy to make a rooster-shaped frame from zinc or iron, it can take up to a year of extensive care for trees to develop and maintain the defined shape.
“It is also important that the rooster-shaped kumquat trees are full of fruit,” Vinh added.
Aside from rooster-shaped trees, Cho Lach farmers also showcase trees dolphin, dragon, and buffalo trees. This year, about 100 of these decorative trees are up for sale.
“The animal-shaped trees have brought about economic profits and a positive reputation for Cho Lach farmers as some of the country’s best plant artisans,” Bui Thanh Liem, head of the district’s agriculture bureau, said.