Vietnamese Tet: The Top Lucky Plants And Flowers

Tet falls on the same day as the Chinese New Year. And for the Vietnamese, this is lượt thích Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one. To mark the event, businesses and schools close up shop and people travel home for the holiday. Like most celebrations, it’s a time full of symbolism rooted in age-old traditions. & it all starts with three lucky plants & flowers.

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VIETNAMESE TET COMES EARLY

Ask the Vietnamese & they will tell you that Tet (also known as Vietnamese Lunar New Year) is the most important holiday in their culture. Beginning on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar, it marks the arrival of spring. This usually occurs somewhere in late January or early February.

Spring in February you say? Well, as we discovered after a month here in January, there is little variation between the seasons. Since Vietnam is located near the equator, its temperature barely fluctuates. So typically, people mark the seasons not by temperature, but by the amount of rainfall and what’s blooming.

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Vietnamese Tet flowers outside đá quí Plaza in Ho đưa ra Minh

This year, Tet takes place from February 5 to 7. & here in Ho đưa ra Minh City, preparations for the holiday have been underway for a while. Every day brings new Tet flowers – yellow apricot trees appear in business doorways, peach blossoms adorn store windows & kumquat trees laden with fruit decorate many a living room and khách sạn lobby.

And just lượt thích Christmas in the West, each lucky plant và flower carries its own special meaning.

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Kumquat tree & poinsettias at a store entry

YELLOW BLOSSOMS (HOA MAI)

It’s hard lớn find a restaurant, public building or siêu thị in southern Vietnam that doesn’t feature at least a jar of these brilliant yellow flowers. Commonly known as Yellow Mai Flower (Hoa Mai), the blossom is considered the quintessential symbol of spring.

In southern Vietnam, Hoa Mai are some of the first plants lớn flower. As a result, they are seen as the embodiment of Tet. In Ho chi Minh City, you’ll find many artificial ones as well.

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But that’s only half the story. Each part of Hoa Mai also carries meaning. The individual petals, for instance, stand for one of five blessings: longevity, wealth, peace, health and love of virtues. & the color yellow represents happiness, prosperity & good luck.

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Hoa Mai blossoms blooming on a fence in southern Vietnam

PEACH BLOSSOMS (HOA DAO)

By contrast, in northern Vietnam it’s the peach blossom that takes center stage. In Hanoi, these rosy-pink Tet flowers are considered harbingers of good fortune. The most intensely-colored ones are the most favored.

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Peach blossoms

Peach trees flower early in northern Vietnam. As a consequence, Vietnamese people say the flowers have ‘brave heart’ since they bloom while other plants are still dormant. Vietnamese tradition also holds that Hoa Daokeep the family peaceful và healthy.

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Workers spray paint gold branches to lớn compliment peach blossoms in Ho đưa ra Minh

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Illuminated peach blossom in siêu thị window in Saigon

KUMQUAT TREE (CÂY QUAT)

It may not be a flower, but the kumquat tree plays a key role in Vietnamese Tet traditions as well. During the Lunar New Year, it is a popular decoration for the living room, where its deep orange fruits symbolize fruitfulness. Kumquats also bring good health and good luck khổng lồ family businesses.

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Pruned kumquat trees

For the best luck, the Vietnamese look for a tree with many fruits of similar kích cỡ (both ripe và green) & big, shiny green leaves. The more fruit on the tree, the more luck for the family. In accordance with Tet tradition, trees are carefully selected và prominently displayed in businesses and homes during the holiday.

Most businesses, in fact, place the shrubs at their entrance in clear view of the street.

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Kumquat tree fruits

As with the Tet flowers, all parts of the kumquat tree are significant. In this instance, they represent successive generations. As a rule, the fruits are the grandparents, flowers are parents, buds symbolize children & new green leaves represent grandchildren. This makes the choice of the tree exceptionally important.

BONSAI & OTHER KEY VIETNAMESE TET FLOWERS

Of course, there are many other flowers that figure in Vietnamese Tet traditions, each with its own special meaning. Among them are marigolds (symbols of longevity), and cockscombs, orchids & chrysanthemums, the latter of which are broadly referred lớn as yellow daisies.

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Yellow chrysanthemum in a vase at a Buddhist temple in Ho chi Minh

During the holiday, pots of these bright yellow Tet flowers can be found in homes, businesses, temples & pagodas all over the city. Symbol of life, chrysanthemums are believed to lớn bring equilibrium khổng lồ the household.

The Vietnamese typically purchase these plants from mid-December until just before Tet from flower markets lượt thích Ho đưa ra Minh City’s Ho Thi Ky. (Click on the links to read about our morning visit to lớn this incredible market.) They keep them until mid-Lunar New Year.

Looking for more? kiểm tra out my instagram at carole.onfire-bg.com lớn see photos of my designs và tips on what to plant where.

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