Creating a Downtown Blaze of Color for Tet

Stone dogs for luck at the top of Nguyen Hue Boulevard at last year's Tet flower show (Photo: VH)

One of the nation’s most spectacular traditions, the Tet flower show along Nguyen Hue Boulevard in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, showcases the very best of southern culture and tradition with a diverse array of food, music, dance and general artistry, not to mention the potted trees and bunches of flowers. This year the job of planning the extravaganza has been placed in the hands of the talented designers at the University of Architecture.

Spring into global integration

Once again the entire length of Nguyen Hue and some of Le Loi will be covered with tens of thousands of flower baskets and pot plants welcoming the Year of the Pig.

According to the architecture students, Viet Nam’s accession to the World Trade Organization has inspired them to plan an exhibition of photos and panels showing all the country’s achievements, especially in the renovation process, and the preparations for WTO membership.

Being located where it is, Nguyen Hue is packed with Vietnamese and foreign revelers when Tet comes around, and it will be no different this time.

Nguyen Hue Boulevard at dawn (Photo: VH)

A synthesis of traditional and modern beauty is the overall theme, but there’ll be more specific themes along with decorations in the different sections.

One of the highlights is sure to be the Banh Tet procession and its pounding drums (‘banh Tet’ is a savory of mostly sticky rice and is also one of the festival’s minor themes). The rhythm of the many big drums can be interpreted as a sign for the new lunar year.

The scent of blossoms

Colorful and fragrant blooms from the misty uplands around Da Lat will be present in abundance for pedestrians to enjoy and take photographs of, plus there’ll be bicycles and horse-drawn carriages filled with brilliant flowers.

“By harmonizing traditional and modern beauty, our hope is that the people will enjoy the flowers and the entire festival through all five senses,” says Nguyen Thi Ai Thuy, one of the student designers.

At the corner of Nguyen Hue and Le Loi, visitors will see how artists let the imagination go free in their installations and folk music, and learn more about the archetypal theatricals of Viet Nam’s south.

Two Vietnamese kids pose for a photo on Nguyen Hue Boulevard last year (Photo: VH)

Hundreds of bright apricot trees will appear once again beside the bamboo and rattan objects. Many artworks and big bamboo vases will be on display along the streets, as will the abundant tropical fruits of Viet Nam.

Thousands will listen to and join in the traditional songs, and large photographs showing daily life in Viet Nam and expressing best wishes for the new lunar year will be displayed as always.

Add folk games, replica craft villages, traditional cake baking, and a demonstration of brocade making, and the organizers are confident of pleasing everybody this time around.

By VH - Translated by Van Hanh

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