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Apricot blossoms yellow Ho Chi Minh City streets as Tet nears

Apricot blossoms yellow Ho Chi Minh City streets as Tet nears

Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 12:16 GMT+7
Apricot blossoms yellow Ho Chi Minh City streets as Tet nears
Phuong Binh, an apricot tree shop owner, attends to a tree on display for sale in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Many streets of Ho Chi Minh City are being brightened with yellow apricot blossoms for sale in the lead-up to Tet, which is the most important traditional celebration in Vietnam.

Yellow apricot blossoms, a traditional symbol of Tet in southern Vietnam, are now on display in different locations around the city ahead of the celebration.

During Tet, also known as the Lunar New Year festival due in February, many Vietnamese families use the plants and flowers to decorate their houses in order to create a lively atmosphere and colorful touch aligned with the enthusiastic and cheerful spirits of the holiday.

Most importantly, as the apricot blossom only blooms once a year in late January or early February, Vietnamese believe the blooming blossoms bring happiness and good fortune for a new year.

In that sense, many families shop for flowers, plants, and apricot blossoms ahead of Tet, which will begin on February 5, in the hope of having luck in their house.

One of the locations with a wide range of apricot blossoms on sale is Pham Van Dong Street in Thu Duc District, where an apricot tree can cost up to VND 100 million (US$4,300).

Some of the bigger apricot trees already had their blossoms bloom due to the hotter-than-usual weather.

Even though the golden flower petals beautifully reflect the sunrays, the already bloomed trees are not preferred by customers as they want the apricot blossoms to flourish at the beginning of February instead.

“This year it is very sunny so apricot blossoms are more likely to bloom early. Even though some flowers have bloomed ahead of Tet, in general the flowers have not been significantly affected,” Phuong Binh, the owner of an apricot blossom garden on Pham Van Dong Street, said.

Phuong Binh’s garden grows many large and beautiful apricot trees, especially those with much larger tree trunks with prices reaching up to VND 100 million apiece.

Most of the trees are going to be rented for the holiday or sold if the customers express interest.

Dai is another owner of an apricot tree shop on Pham Van Dong Street, but besides the symbolic plant of  Tet, he also offers other trees and flowers that are chosen as house decorations such as chandler pomelos, orchids, and cymbidium orchids.

The chandler pomelos sold at his shop were imported from Hung Yen Province in Red River Delta of northern Vietnam.

This year flowers are nicer than they were the previous years, even though the price difference is not significant, Dai said.

“At my store this year the price for cymbidium orchids ranges from VND 900,000 [$39] to VND1 million [$43] per flower pot, while Bougainvilleas cost around VND 300,000 [$13] for a pair,” Dai provided an example, adding that the customers seem to start their shopping earlier than they did the year earlier.

Having bought two pots of orchids, Phuc, one of the customers living in District 11, agreed that this year the prices are reasonable and have not increased significantly in comparison with last year.

Buying the flowers at this time of the year will guarantee better prices than in the upcoming days, the customer suggested.

Here are some of the photos of apricot blossoms displayed on Pham Van Dong Street in Thu Duc District:

Photo: Duyen Phan/Tuoi Tre
Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Photo: Le Phan/Tuoi Tre
Photo: Le Phan / Tuoi Tre
Photo: Duyen Phan/Tuoi Tre
Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Photo: Duyen Phan/Tuoi Tre
Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Photo: Duyen Phan/Tuoi Tre
Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Photo: Le Phan/Tuoi Tre
Photo: Le Phan / Tuoi Tre

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