Tet – Red Flower Yellow Flower

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Today we bought a big yellow flower and a big red flower. These colourful potted plants are being sold all over Ho Chi Minh City. My assumption was that they are being sold for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, or Tet, which takes place in a few days time. Because I am totally clueless, I wanted to find out what they were called, why they were significant and what I should do with them, so I asked my Vietnamese friends on Facebook and they told me this:

“The yellow one is chrysanthemum variety. And, The red one is cockscomb flower. They can be alive a month in pots. They need more soil, fertilizer to live longer :-)”

“They look beautiful , Jen . I’m glad that you and Gareth are interested in flowers now  That is an interesting question , Jen . I never think of it . I think The yellow one is Hoa Van Tho ( Chrysanthemum ) which brings longevity and prosperity according to their names in Vietnamese . The red one is Hoa mau ga ( cockscomb flowers ) symbolizes humor, warmth and passion . …”

“Hi Jen, Lunar new year ( Tet) is the most important celebration of vietnamese cultural. The word is shortened form of (Tết nguyên đán) . The yellow one is Chrysanthemum flower ( Called “Hoa Cúc”) the red one is cockscomb flower ( called ” Hoa mào gà”). Most of Vietnamese prepare these flowers and Peach blossom ( in the North of Vietnam) apricot blossom ( in the south of Vietnam) for Tet. On the Tet, Visiting a friends’ home on the first day of new year is called ( Xông nhà), children receive a red envelope containing money from their elders ( this traditional is called “Mừng tuổi”)”

“so beautiful! The yellow one is chrysanthemum. it’s mean ” bring a symbol of life, happiness and fortune as well as adding joy to the home. And, The red one is cockscomb flower. A spring full of dreams and hope . i think so. hihi”

“These flowers always appear in my family at Tet holiday, always. Be honest, I have no idea what the meaning of them are . Every year, mom takes me to the flower market and buy couples of the most beautiful one, bring it home. Simply , we decorate the house, our grandparents graves, and the altars. It’s not because of the meaning anymore, it’s the custom, the tradition. I grow up with it and it’s my turn to bring them flowers home ”

Thank you so much to my Vietnamese friends for teaching me a little about your most treasured celebration.

Chuc Mung Nam Moi!!! – Happy New Year!!!

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