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Spring is the most anticipated and welcomed time of year. In Vietnam, the season varies greatly across regions. Hanoi’s peach blossoms float in the prickly chill air, while Saigon is adorned with gold apricot blooms opening under a warmer sun.
During the Northern spring we can see our breath and we long for a warm hand to grasp our own. In the South, and Saigon in particular, families come together and stroll the streets, welcoming a sunny spring. Of all the places to visit during Tet, the vibrant and colourful downtown Nguyen Hue Flower Street is a must.
Previously, the street was called Nguyen Hue Flower Market. As Saigon grew more developed and integrated, Nguyen Hue was better known as one of the city’s finest streets, sprinkled with numerous high rises, robust shopping malls and department stores. Starting in the spring of 2004, Nguyen Hue became a radiant flower kingdom enticing throngs of foreign visitors each year. A brief walk along this flower street to admire New Year flowers is also a treat for Saigonese people. The flower street is open from Lunar December 28 to January 4.
When spring arrives, Saigon seems even livelier and noisier, and as part of this excitment the flower street welcomes its keen guests. Each year, a new theme arises and a fascinating idea is portrayed. To design and set up the finest and most unique street that is completely different from preceding years, the organizing board hosts creative competitions to sort out good ideas for the decorations. Preparations are meticulous and embody the devotion of beauty lovers.
The themes might be: Old stories and the rustic landscape of the countryside in ancient times as expressed through lotus pond, fishing nets, and canals crossed by frail monkey bridges; scenes of laborious and bruised florists carrying their flower baskets; flower boats; or even fruit bins that characterize the fecund and bountiful South. The scenes delight visitors with a sense of familiarity, inner warmth and comfort. Younger generations might learn of these historic facts through recalled memories of their parents and grandparents, but a trip to Nguyen Hue enables them to touch, watch and feel novel scenes that deliver profound and resounding messages. A country of a thousand facets is depicted with flowers and fruits at the skillful hands of deft artisans.
Flowers on Nguyen Hue Flower Street are from all over the country, creating a natural and visually mesmerizing sphere of colour. There are countless fresh blossoms, from familiar species to more exotic ones from Dalat or further north. Spring is made full, and the landscape is brightened with flowers, people and their shared joy of a new era to come.
It is no surprise that Nguyen Hue Flower Street has been voted one of the most outstanding spring displays of Saigon. Year after year, the locals strive to add something new and adorn this flower street as they cherish the spring to come. When they walk among the flowers, local people, Vietnamese expats and foreign tourists are visually and emotionally satisfied.