At these days of Jan 2014, driving in the streets, you can feel Tet is coming. The streets are decorated with coloured lights and red banners. Some streets which are used to selling flowers become more colourful with many kinds of flowers... Combining with the merry atmosphere, peach blossom, apricot blossom and kumquat trees are showing off their beauty with striking colour for traditional Tet. Vietnamese people decorate their houses and offices with these ornamental plants during Tet as symbols of warmth, wealth and good luck for the country’s biggest holiday. Peach blossom is traditional at Tet in the North while apricot blossom is traditional in the South. The kumquat tree with its ripe deep orange fruits is popular throughout the country.

A kumquat tree with many fruits makes a house brighter and warmer, especially in the cold weather in the northland. The tree is a popular decoration for the living room during Tet. Its many fruits symbolize the fertility and fruitfulness that the family hopes will come in the coming year. The more fruit on the tree, the luckier your family. Greeting cards and good luck symbols are hung from the Tet tree.

Talking about ornamental plants for Tet, you cannot forget peach blossom and apricot blossom, considered as traditional Tet’s flowers. Apricot blossom is present at most families in southland and peach blossom is more popular in the northland. They mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. They bring good luck to your houses in the New Year; their colour is the symbol of happiness. They are absolutely beautiful when they are full bloom but they also really impress when they are tumbling down in the drizzling, cover the ground by pink petals. Peach blossom is an enduring symbol of the Lunar New Year. You can visit Nhat Tan (Hanoi) where the art of growing the trees is passed from generation to generation.

Lunar New Year or Tet is a fete of the family, and the time for family members to gather at home to enjoy warm atmosphere. Every Vietnamese family has their own way celebrating the New Year, but they share the same symbol of Tet in their mind, which distinct Vietnamese cultural characteristics. The symbol is an indispensable part of Vietnamese traditional Tet, and brings the Tet flavour to every family when the day is coming.

In addition to such national dishes and products as "Fat pork, salted onions, parallel sentences written on red paper. Long bamboo poles planted upright, strings of fireworks, and square glutinous rice cakes", it is indispensable for each Vietnamese family to mark their Tet by colorful golden kumquat trees, peach blossom as well as yellow apricot flowers as the symbol of good fortune for the coming year.

By Nguyen Ngan -HNN

 



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