A Stroll Along Saigon’s Tet Flower Streets in the 1960s


Flowers never go out of fashion.

 Along with banh tet, fireworks and red envelopes filled with lucky money, no visual represents the Tet holiday in Vietnam more than fresh flowers. Symbolizing wealth and passionate love, they adorn alters and tables as colorful manifestations of the joy that the Lunar New Year ushers into people’s homes.

In Saigon, the ochna integerrima (Vietnamese mickey-mouse plant) are most common thanks to their preference for hot, sunny climates, while the north’s gloomy growing season ushers in peach flowers and marumi kumquat. Farmers in the Mekong Delta fastidiously tend to the plants for months in the lead-up to the holiday, and to meet demand, Vietnam has even taken to importing them from abroad

For decades, temporary flower markets have opened in response to every household’s desire to purchase the verdant delights. In these photos taken in the 1960s, one can observe Saigon’s stylish citizens mingling with vendors at one such market. The holiday atmosphere provides an opportunity for shoppers to wear their snazziest outfits and pose for photos amongst the rows of flowers. 

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A Look Back at Tết in Hanoi 100 Years Ago


It is easy to remark on how drastically Tết has changed over the years, but have the core elements really evolved that much?

For many, this most recent Tết probably included meeting friends at fancy bubble tea shops, snacking on junk food in front of Netflix, spending countless hours on social media, and perhaps even traveling to luxury resorts.

Certainly, none of these activities were available to Hanoi residents 100 years ago, but like today, a century ago markets bustled in the days leading up to the holiday, and then the streets emptied; people spent hours preparing special dishes and dressing up for photos and to honor their ancestors; and families spent hours leisurely strolling the streets or lounging in living rooms. 

Have a look at these photos below and question how different the Lunar New Year in Hanoi was a century ago:

The bustling market leading up to the holiday.

vendors and buyers everywhere.

Classic calligraphy on the street.

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