Many people in Hanoi are flocking to the streets buying branches of cherry blossom to decorate their house for the last full moon of the Year of the Rooster.
The price for each branch ranges from VND40,000 (US$1.76) to VND150,000 ($6.62).
Nguyen Van Hau, 30, a salesman at the Quang Ba flower market in Hanoi, says that the demand for cherry blossom branches is increasing as the last full moon of the final lunar year and Tet (Lunar New Year) are approaching.
Florists in Nhat Tan Ward usually cut out the most beautiful branches and put them on sale during this time of the year.
|A cherry blossom in Nhat Tan flower garden. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
“These cherry blossom branches will be used as decoration for houses before and during Tet. Each of them usually costs around VND40,000-150,000. We started selling them [3 days ago], with 40 branches sold every day,” Hau says.
|People go shopping for the most beautiful branches early in the morning. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Van, a Hanoian, says her family always picks a small branch of cherry blossom for the full moon ceremony as she goes for the one costing VND80,000 ($3.53).
|A branch like this one costs around VND80,000. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The Vietnamese consider full moons to be of great importance, especially the one in the eighth lunar month, called Mid-Autumn Festival.
Many families still hold a little ceremony on full moon with flowers and fruits as offerings.
|Bags of water are used to keep the branches hydrated and fresh. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
“The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, so I think I’ll buy a few more branches to decorate my house for this Tet,” Van says, adding that Hanoians love beautifying their house with branches of cherry blossom on this occasion.
|A family takes a stroll in the Quang Ba flower market, enjoying the colorful blossoms. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The pink cherry blossoms are not only on full display in the Quang Ba flower market, but also along the streets of Thuy Khe, Lac Long Quan, Au Co, Thanh Nien, and others around Ho Tay (West Lake) in Nhat Tan Ward, Tay Ho District, attracting Hanoians who are shopping for Tet.
|A buyer carries his branch of blossom home on a motorbike. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Nhat Tan Ward is a village famous for cultivating and selling one of the most beautiful branches of cherry blossom in the Vietnamese capital.
|A bicycle loaded with cherry blossoms parks on Thuy Khue Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
This year’s blossoms bloomed sooner than expected as there was a leap month in the lunar calendar, pushing Tet a month later than usual.
The first batches of cherry blossom were put on display as early as January 10, a month before Tet.
The early branches of cherry blossom would not gain as much profit as those sold during Tet.
|Hien, a resident of Nhat Tan Ward, is cutting branches of early blooming blossoms. She is about to sell them at the market. Photo: Tuoi Tre|