New Year’s Party in Saigon, Vietnam

In Saigon the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Day on the western calendar was celebrated with a combination of elements from both Tet (the Vietnamese lunar New Year) and the west.

Vietnamese calendar opening up to December 31, 2013The yellow flowers on this window are the traditional Vietnamese New Year’s flower. Our waitress didn’t know the name of them in English but in Vietnamese it translates to ‘golden’ and gold is good. They also bloom prolifically this time of year adding another reason for their popularity. 'Golden' flowers for the New Year in Saigon, Vietnam We were staying in a warren in Saigon’s District One and across from that was a large public park all lit up for the week and filled with performances in the lights on the stage in the HCMC night, Vietnam Once we made it across the terrifying traffic we came upon a sort-of peaceful pond with boaters. There were traffic jams in the pond too!
Boats for rent in the big public park opposite District one in HCMC (Saigon), VietnamHuge arrays of street food were available and it all looked amazing.
Street food of snails & a crab in Saigon‘Grilled ostrich’, chicken’s feet, spicy-looking squid and ‘deer roast sesame’ were on offer.Street food in SaigonMore seafood selection.Seafood in the street in Saigon‘Lot Sausage Lake’, ‘Cua Vien’ and ‘German Sausage’.
Street food in HCMC (Saigon)Like one of the sausages above, the draft beer is German and comes in two flavours: yellow and black.Street food in HCMC (Saigon); this is German-style beer and comes in the flavours yellow and blackThe performances went on all week and ranged from ‘bing bong’ music, to screechy singers, to rock and roll, to comic opera…An actor in a traditional Vietnamese play on the stage in the HCMC night, VietnamThe New Year show in HCMC (Saigon) consisted of plays, musicians and dance performances of all kindsto ‘pop’ Vietnamese style….
Singers in traditional Vietnamese costumes on the stage in the HCMC night, Vietnam Dancers in traditional yellow costumes on the stage in the HCMC night, Vietnam And then who could forget the song, ‘It was an its, bits, teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini’ as sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks. 

Tet Fruit Pray for Reunion

Tet Fruit Message: ‘Prayer for Many Reunions’

  • The Vietnamese also put out ‘flower’ messages – from comes this interesting post on the significance of the flowers chosen to celebrate Tet: Vietnamese New Year Flowers.

Happy New Year banner in HCMC This Happy New Year banner has the traditional yellow flower of a small tree which I now know is called the ‘Vietnamese Mickey Mouse Plant’ (thanks to Chris Galvin, herself a writer that could tempt anyone go to Vietnam) along with pink peach blossoms.

3 responses to “New Year’s Party in Saigon, Vietnam

  1. Lovely post…I wish I were in Saigon for NY this year!
    “Yellow (or golden) flower” is a direct translation from the Vietnamese hoa vàng,aka hoa mai vàng. The Latin name is Ochna integerrima. In English, I’ve seen it sold as “Vietnamese Mickey Mouse plant.” (I guess because some of the other Ochna species are known as Mickey Mouse plants.)
    Happy New Year.

  2. Pingback: A Fruit ‘Message’ for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet) | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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