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Saigon vendors rush to slake craving for red bean soup on ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’

Thursday, August 27, 2020, 15:26 GMT+7
Saigon vendors rush to slake craving for red bean soup on ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’
Tech-based delivery men get in line to buy red bean sweet soup at a dessert store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Phan Tran / Tuoi Tre

On ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’ on Tuesday, delivery men throughout Ho Chi Minh City were busy shipping bowls of red bean soup to customers who believed eating the dish would bring good luck to their love life.

Chinese Valentine's Day, also known as Double-Seventh Day or Qixi Festival in China and ‘That Tich’ in Vietnam, takes place annually on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

The holiday is held to commemorate the reunion of a separated mythological Chinese couple.

Although That Tich celebrations vary in each country, single people who observe the festival in Vietnam often use the occasion to seek out a romantic partner.

It is also common for many to try and increase their chances of finding a lover by eating red bean sweet soup.

In Vietnam, red bean sweet soup has become the center of attention for the celebration as it symbolizes a desire to pursue blessings, a loving relationship, and a fulfilled marriage.

As such, the days surrounding the festival typically see eateries throughout Ho Chi Minh City managing endless queues of people waiting to buy the lucky dish.

“The amount of red bean soup we sold on That Tich this year was triple that of a normal day. I had to make more because we’d already sold out,” a sweet soup shop owner on Bui Thi Xuan Street in District 1 shared.

A bowl of red bean sweet soup served at a dessert store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Phan Tran / Tuoi Tre

A bowl of red bean sweet soup served at a dessert store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Phan Tran / Tuoi Tre

Since online shopping has soared in Vietnam, delivery men are on the go with their red bean sweet soup orders on this special day.

“Since [Tuesday] morning I’ve have received 50 red bean sweet soup orders of at least four servings each,” said Nguyen Van Tuong, a delivery man who had been filling soup orders at shops along Ho Thi Ky, Bui Thi Xuan, and Nguyen Tri Phuong streets.

Eaters not only enjoyed their order on the spot but also fetched a dozen additional servings home, the shop owner said.

The average price for a bowl of traditional red bean sweet soup is about VND10,000-VND20,000 (US$0.43-0.86) and dozens of stores across the city had sold out by Tuesday morning.

Thanh Hoa, a resident of Binh Chanh District, who had just purchased her own bowl of red bean sweet soup, was visibly happy with her purchase.

“All of the shops I dropped by ran out of stock. It is widely known that red bean sweet soup brings luck to anyone who eats it on That Tich, so I managed to buy this dish for my whole family,” Hoa said.

A tech-based delivery men holds a bag of red bean sweet soup servings outside a dessert store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Phan Tran / Tuoi Tre

A delivery man holds a bag of red bean sweet soup servings outside a dessert store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Phan Tran / Tuoi Tre

In the spirit of the festival, beverage shops have added a variety of brand new dishes to their menu, including red bean milk tea, red bean mixed soybean milk, red bean tofu, and red bean patbingsu — a popular Korean shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings.

According to Huy, the manager of a milk tea shop in District 3, red bean milk tea was the most popular drink on the That Tich day, with more than 200 servings sold in the morning alone.

In addition to sweet soup and milk tea, at VND10,000-VND15,000 ($0.43-0.65), homemade red bean yogurt was a popular alternative during this year’s celebration.

More than 200 jars of yogurt had been sold by Tuesday afternoon at a shop on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street in Binh Thanh District.

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