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.
A family out for a shopping trip.
Visitors to the Ngoc Son Pagoda.
You can practically hear the peace.
Selling leaves to make bánh chưng.
Selling joss paper to burn.
Flowers for sale.
What is more wondrous than holding a tree?
Imagine all the hours that went into growing and harvesting those vegetables.
Paintings being sold on the street.
Who doesn’t love a balloon?
Puppets being sold on the street.
Bananas are in season!
Rickshaw drivers helping people get where they need to get.
A family chowing down.
Praying to one’s ancestors.
An important act of veneration.
Children tending the altar.
Burning joss paper.
The offerings continue today.
Fish are an auspicious dish.
A family gathers at home for the holiday.
A family posing in their finest attire.
Pretty suave-looking, indeed.
A beautiful couple.
[Photos via Flickr user manhhai.]
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Tuesday, 08 February 2022. Written by S