Ho Chi Minh City gears up for Tet holiday

Taking place on the same day as the Chinese New Year, the Tet holiday will this year begin on 19th February, and will celebrate the year of the Goat/Sheep/Ram. Festivities usually begin a week before this date, with the celebrations usually continuing for another week after the first day. The date changes each year according to the Vietnamese lunisolar calendar, and will take place in 2016 on 8th February, which those in Ho Chi Minh City on Mekong river cruises may be able to experience.

A beautiful display of flowers mostly grown in Mekong Delta provinces

In order to prepare, Ho Chi Minh City’s flower markets are currently gearing up for the holiday, receiving flowers transported from various other regions. Flowers in the home are a custom of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, with flowers such as the peach blossom and yellow apricot blossom most popular due to their association with southern culture.

The cost of these flowers can range from from $3.30 to a staggering $4,800 and are sold on the streets in the lead up to the Vietnamese New Year. Yellow daisies, chrysanthemums and bonsais are also high in demand during the celebrations. This is all part of the Spring Flower Festival, which is now in its third year, and takes place in the wholesale market district from February 12th to 15th.

This year’s festival will also see a more unusual event taking place, which includes a speciality pancake that will hopefully break a record. The Vietnamese pancake, known as a Banh xeo, is one of the most well-known delicacies in the region, and a local firm is hoping to create the largest of its kind in the country. Those attending will be able to experience a free portion of the giant cake, which is expected to weigh 10 kilograms and be 1.9 metres in diameter.

Image Credit: saragoldsmith (Flickr.com)