A poster greets the New Year - the yellow apricot flowers symbolize the holiday in the south, while dark pink peach blossoms are the bloom of the north.

A poster greets the New Year – the yellow apricot flowers symbolize the holiday in the south, while dark pink peach blossoms are the bloom of the north.

This bonsai apricot tree is showing its first blossom - perfectly timed for the New Year.

This bonsai apricot tree is showing its first blossom – perfectly timed for the New Year.

The first day of Têt, the Chinese and Vietnamese New Year, falls on February 19 this year. Families are busy making preparations for the holiday, which for some will last two weeks. In this post I will show you some of the signs of the season from the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and nearby Bien Hoa.

Kumquats are a traditional Têt plant in both north and south.

Kumquats are a traditional Têt plant in both north and south.

Yellow mums wait for buyers along a street in Bien Hoa.

Yellow mums wait for buyers along a street in Bien Hoa.

Unloading yellow mums!

Unloading

Sunflowers, celosia, mums - another street market.

Sunflowers, celosia, mums

Colorful peppers, another Têt "flower"

Colorful peppers, another Têt “flower”

Pots of multicolored orchids stand by the gate of a temple, and red banners greet the New Year.

Pots of multicolored orchids stand by the gate of a temple, and red banners greet the New Year.

A pile of coconuts outside a Buddhist temple in Bien Hoa - part of the Têt celebration

A pile of coconuts outside a Buddhist temple in Bien Hoa – part of the Têt celebration

Pomelo (a grapefruit with a thick rind and dryer flesh) will have a place of honor on Têt altars.

Pomelo (a grapefruit with a thick rind and dryer flesh) will have a place of honor on Têt altars.

Each of the blossoms (silk and plastic) is wired onto the "apricot tree".  The green packages hanging from the branches represent "bánh trưng", cakes made of glutinous rice, mung beans and pork.

Each of the blossoms (silk and plastic) is wired onto the “apricot tree”. The green packages hanging from the branches represent “bánh trưng”, cakes made of glutinous rice, mung beans and pork.

Young art students show their paintings at a Têt street market in Saigon.

Young art students show their paintings at a Têt street market in Saigon.

A young calligrapher writes a traditional New Year greeting.

A young calligrapher writes a traditional New Year greeting.

An Audi crowned with pink peach blossoms for the New Year?

An Audi crowned with pink peach blossoms for the New Year?

Advertisements