14:53 | 12/02/2018 Economy- Society
(VEN) - Hanoi’s unique Buoi flower and pet market is particularly busy in the weeks leading up to Tet (the Lunar New Year holidays) as residents of the city look for blooms with which to decorate their homes for the year’s most important holiday and fruit to offer their ancestors.Hanoi’s unique Buoi flower and pet market is particularly busy in the weeks leading up to Tet (the Lunar New Year holidays) as residents of the city look for blooms with which to decorate their homes for the year’s most important holiday and fruit to offer their ancestors.
The oldest market
The market was established in Yen Thai Village on the southwestern bank of Hanoi’s West Lake at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century.
The market was held on days considered auspicious - the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 24th and 29th days of every lunar month - along Hoang Hoa Tham Street. Farmers from the neighboring areas of Tay Tuu, Co Nhue, Xuan La and Xuan Dinh would bring their seedlings, seeds and agricultural tools, while people from Nhat Tan, Quang An and Quang Ba on the opposite side of West Lake brought their ornamental plants and flowers to the market for sale.
Before Tet, the market was particularly beautiful and noisy, with a wide variety of flowers, ornamental plants, pets such as dogs, cats, chickens and birds on offer.
Today, the Buoi Market building on one end of Hoang Hoa Tham Street is owned by the Hanoi Trading Corporation. Traditional market days are still held there and people can sell and buy saplings and particularly pets.
On auspicious days, the number of seedlings is tenfold that of regular days, including rose, lily, climbing rose, jasmine, hibiscus, and fruit trees such as Xuan Dinh sapodilla, Canh orange, Dien grapefruit or even shade trees.
Hanoi storeowners often go to the market to buy products to resell in their shops. Candy made in Lu Village is a popular item. Children of all ages enjoy the tasty keo bot (flour candy), keo vung (sesame candy), keo lac (peanut candy), popcorn and rice crisps sold by an elderly lady wearing a triangular kerchief on her head.
The place for orchid lovers
Buoi Market holds a particular lure for orchid lovers in the days before Tet, when a full array of the rare flowers are in bloom.
Orchids on sale in the market are grown in various areas of Vietnam, including Hanoi’s suburban districts of Gia Lam, Hoai Duc, Dan Phuong and Ha Dong, neighboring provinces of Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc and Hung Yen, as well as the far, mountain areas of Moc Chau and Sa Pa.
Ms. Thuy, who owns an orchid shop in the market, says prices range widely between VND400-800,000 per basket.
Apart from orchids, the market has on offer many other kinds of spring flowers during the days before Tet, including peach flowers, kumquat trees and violet flowers, which together make Buoi a unique market and a favorite destination for flower and pet lovers. Nhat Tan Peach Blossom is considered as the most beautiful flower for the Lunar New Year and Vietnamese decorate their houses with the red-colored bloom.
The traditional offering to ancestors includes bananas, grapefruits, figs, Buddha’s hand fruit, chilies, mandarin oranges.