Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Tet in Hanoi is always cold and showery. That’s the difference between Hanoi and the rest of Viet Nam. The weather’s so cold from Christmas to after Lunar New Year. It’s just about 9 degrees or under. People are still going out early in the morning ‘till midnight. Now is a good time for shopping, especially clothes and flowers but they are very expensive. You should wait till the last day of the lunar day (30th) so that the prices go down because they want to get rid of all the old fashioned clothes and half dead flowers. They don't bother to take their flowers back, it costs more than its worth paying for the transportation.

Before Tet is a good time for those who love taking photos, photos about how Vietnamese people prepare for their special new year. You should go down to the Ngoc Ha village or Flower market called Nhat Tan where all the flowers are grown and sold. Florists go to the market at about 12Am, and I wonder when they finish their day? They might stay there or maybe they change people to stay and sell the flowers. Most of beautiful flowers are here and unbelievably cheap.

In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is very important. It is a traditional time of the year and also a chance for every body to meet their relatives, friends…. and of course parties. We prepare heaps of different foods and sweets, candies, beers and soft drinks for friends to come over and enjoy. Foreigners generally don’t like our traditional cakes but they’re very special and important for Vietnamese. They called Square cake-Banh Chung and Long cake-Banh Day are symbols of Land and God.

The difference ways of celebrating Tet vary according to the 3 areas of Viet Nam. Most Hanoians spend their time with friends and family but in the south they spend only the first or maybe first 2 days at home with family and relatives. They spend the rest of the time going to other cities or to the beach for vacation. Nha Trang is their destination for most southern people. It’s no wonder it’s so crowded in Nha Trang in the Lunar New Year.

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