The Tet atmosphere was kept and passed along to many generations, but still it remained the same joyful and tender as it was the old days. In the old days of Tet, there was nothing much. However, nothing much was more than everything. In Tet, the people of Hanoi only needed a box of jam, a few cans of grained pea to make the square buns, a few pounds of pork and a chain of fireworks. And there it was. Tet was coming to town. When Tet arrived, it was also the cue for the arrival of spring. In Vietnamese tradition, spring represented the new and the young. This was also the time when children have their new clothes, lucky money. For those children, it was the fireworks that they loved the best. It was a simple Tet yet it was the best time of all. Memories about Tet have become the unforgotten part in every person in this land. However, now it is still the same apricots, the same square buns, and the same atmosphere yet the Now Tet is so different from the Old Tet. And there are only some pieces of Tet, some images that can only be found in the memories of our own. Nevertheless, let’s go back in time and once more we will see the old yet tender atmosphere that was full of love.
A child with her mother went for the New Year shopping.
The flowers for Tet.
This was, now, and hopefully will be an image that is inseparable of Tet. Calligraphist was on the street with his talent.
The flower market in the bitter cold of spring
The market was always crowed
In the North, there are mostly Cherry flowers while in the south, there are more apricots.
Buyers, sellers, all were busy to sell and to buy the best. Some wanted to return home as soon as they can to be with their families, some wanted to pick the best cherry branch for their houses.
The market by the Guom (Sword) Lake
A calligraphist of Tet
Tying the square buns
The buns usually being boiled before the New Year eve
In the Subsidy period, Tet’s shoppings depended on the Trade Shop. They were always crowed and short on supplies.
All tried to buy the all amounts that they were allowed. Since the 20th of Lunar December, the shops were all crowed.
When the essential supplies were stock, people drove their aims to the jam, and wine for Tet. There were only Orange wine and lemon wine. The best brand back then was the Nang Huong wine (Nàng Hương)
Signs were everywhere. However, speed was the necessity because if one does not hurry, there would be nothing left to buy.
Boxes of jam, a bottle of wine were enough for the atmosphere of Tet in every home.
Jam and buns were the two most essential things in the traditional Tet of the Vietnamese
Pictures, calendars, calligraphies were sale on the street. People bought these for presents or hanged in their houses.
A picture and calligraphy shop
Change of currency tables in a closing day of Tet.
Shops sold fireworks. As the old year pass, the sounds of the firework would be the cue for the New Year to arrive.
Children loved these shops
In the ending days of the year, traffic was a dilemma. Many had to line for days in order to get a ticket home. For those who were not that lucky, they had to sit of the top of the train.
Same thing happened to cars
However, every trip was worthwhile. In the New Year eve, families were together for the farewell dinner of the old year.
As the clock stroke twelve, fireworks burst into the air, signaling the New Year has arrived. For most of the old Vietnamese, moments like these are unforgettable.
Children tried to find some un-pop fireworks
The streets of Hanoi in the Tet’s day
Lucky money for the children
After Tet, everyone returned to their daily habit and work.
For those who went to work in the other places, Tet was the time for them to return to families, to help them strengthened their wills in the New Year.
Photo: ST Uy Uy In Đẹpplus