Spring in the air and the streets
In the heart of the Old Quarter in downtown Hanoi, one can find a traditional flower market which will stay open till the last day of the lunar year (January 24).
The Hang Luoc Flower Market is located on Hang Luoc, Hang Khoai, Hang Ruoi, Hang Ma and Phung Hung streets in Hoan Kiem district.
The market takes place every day between 8am and 10pm, offering bonsai kumquat plants, fresh flowers, fake antiques and various other decorations.
Handmade products of traditional handicraft villages, folk paintings and folk toys are also exhibited along Phung Hung street together with folk music and calligraphy.
The market introduces the heritage values of the Old Quarter and surrounding areas to domestic and foreign visitors.
The traditional flower market has been held in the area for the past century.
In the past, farmers from nearby Ngoc Ha, Nghi Tam, Nhat Tan and Quang Ba villages would take their bonsai trees and flowers to sell at the market, which only gathers once a year from the 15th to the last day of the 12th lunar month.
Only in 1947, when Hanoi was fighting against the French, did the market not gather. Even during the anti-US war, the market still gathered ahead of Tet (Lunar New Year) as a custom of Hanoians.
Since 2018, beside the traditional flower market, Hoan Kiem district authorities have hosted other festive activities on Phung Hung street, which hosts dozens of murals on the stone walls of the railway viaduct drawn by Vietnamese and Republic of Korean painters at the end of 2018, creating a cultural space for the community.
The viaduct starts from the Phung Hung-Tran Phu crossroads and runs to Long Bien Train Station, passing through Phung Hung and Gam Cau streets. The viaduct is part of the historic Long Bien Bridge, built from 1899-1902 by French architects.
The cultural space is part of a pedestrian zone planned to be set up along Phung Hung street, which will offer various services for tourists.
Further from the city centre, Quang An flower market on Au Co street has been filled with peach blossoms, ochna and kumquat bonsai for nearly a month now. Flowers and bonsai trees planted from the nearby Nhat Tan Flower Village are available here.
On the outskirts of the city, flower villages are busy for Tet as well.
Tay Tuu ward, formerly known as Dam village, in Bac Tu Liem district, 20km to the west of Hanoi’s centre, provides fresh flowers to Hanoi and neighbouring areas.
This time of year is the biggest harvesting season for locals in Tay Tuu, where some 200ha of flower planting area hosts various kinds of flowers, mostly lily, chrysanthemum and roses./.