Happy year of the horse

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buying peach blossoms

We arrived back from Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc last week to a Hanoi totally decked out for Tet – the Vietnamese new year. Today is the first official day of the week long holiday. The stalls at the Tet market are full of new year treats and decorations. Paper money, offerings, and joss sticks are sold for prayer to ancestors and bring good luck and wealth in the next life. People are buying candied fruits and strange foods like blackened birds and traditional Tet sticky rice in banana leaf. The streets are lined with lights and decorations and everyone is buying tress, blossoms, orchids and flowers. Not wanting to be left out, I have purchased a cumquat tree (which signifies good luck for the year ahead) and some peach blossoms which are hung with the traditional red decorations. We even gave li xi – red envelopes with money (in our case fake money) – at our weekend dinner party. Here are a few photos from around town:

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tents are lined with orchids for sale at the flower market

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decorations to hang on the tree and offerings to be burnt or taken to the temples

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streets lined with Tet specialties

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at the Tet market

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A Tet special – blackened birds served in cans, yes they are feet sticking out the top

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The cumquat tree which will reside on the balcony

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Our housekeeper added the tinsel

By the way… I am aware I have already broken one of my new years resolutions to write on my blog every week, but I figure since the Vietnamese new year is only just starting I have another chance!

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