Preparing the Tet trees in Hanoi

Au Co workers in Hanoi take a quick break from moving and hauling kumquat trees for Tet

Au Co workers in Hanoi take a quick break from moving and hauling kumquat trees for Tet

Quite a balancing act

A tough balancing act, taking a kumquat tree home in Hanoi, Vietnam

Pix motorbikers and peach tree

Not so easy loading a heavy peach tree onto a motorbike

I live in Au Co, near the orchards and flower market, and the main road right now is a manic mess of motorbikes, flower sellers on bikes, and walking and moving trees.

It’s just days before Tet and everyone in Hanoi is buying a kumquat tree for good luck in the coming Lunar New Year. Kumquats look like really cute baby mandarin orange trees, and according to one of my Vietnamese colleagues, it’s very important the tree has “good posture”. Not standing up straight, but a pretty shape.These trees are typically carried to their new homes by stern-looking motorbike drivers, miraculously balancing them on the backs of their bikes.

The branches of pink-blossomed peach trees are also popular and I’ve even seen heavily-bonsai’d dragon fruit trees on the move.

More and more lilies and chrysanthemums are emerging for sale in little side lots, along the sides of roads and as a sideline. Even the juice bar near the school I work at has started selling small trees and flowers out front.

I’m heading to New Zealand over Tet to visit my brother and his family, so will miss the actual day. But by all accounts, Hanoi becomes a bit of a ghost town, with shops closed, banks closed and everyone at home with their families.

To everyone in Vietnam: Chúc Mùng Nam Mói’ – Happy New Year.

Related links:
* Tet traditions honour Kitchen Gods

* Hanoi ready to welcome Tet

* Tet Nguyen Dan: tips for welcoming the new year in Vietnam

* “Li xi” – Lucky money for Tet

2 thoughts on “Preparing the Tet trees in Hanoi

  1. Julie H. Ferguson

    Great to hear more from you. This tradition I’d never heard of and I love the images of “moving trees.”

  2. alisonbate Post author

    Hi Julie

    Great to hear from you and hoping your travel writing is going well. I’ve just started my Tet holiday and am in Sydney, on my way to visit my brother and his family in Auckland. Funny not seeing motorbikes on the streets! I’ll be back in Canada in May, and hope you can come over to Bowen then.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s