Among various Vietnamese New Year flowers, the bright yellow apricot blossoms stand out. While peach blossoms grace the Tet celebrations of the North, the Southern region of Vietnam is adorned with the golden elegance of apricot flowers. This cherished flower carries deep cultural significance, intertwining legends, familial ties, and the essence of the Lunar New Year. Let us embark on a comprehensive journey to unravel the captivating world of yellow apricot blossoms in Vietnam.
1. Yellow apricot blossoms - the symbol of New Year in Southern Vietnam
In the tapestry of legends surrounding yellow apricot blossoms, the story of Mai, a courageous young girl, stands out. Trained by her father to be a skilled warrior, Mai embarked on a quest to slay a troublesome serpent terrorizing her village. Accompanied by her father, they successfully vanquished the serpent, bringing honor to their family. Tragically, Mai lost her life in the battle, but her sacrifice moved the heavens. Touched by her bravery and her mother's grief, the deities granted Mai a chance to return home for nine days during Tet, embodying the form of a golden apricot blossom. Over time, this legend led to the tradition of displaying yellow apricot blossoms during Tet, symbolizing bravery, filial piety, and the triumph of good over evil.
In Southern Vietnam, Tet is incomplete without yellow apricot blossoms. The delicate balance of bloomed flowers and buds symbolizes the cycle of life, making these blossoms not just important Vietnamese New Year decorations but also carriers of profound meanings. Families would meticulously care for their apricot trees, ensuring they flourish during Tet. It represents hope and renewal for the coming year.
2. Basic information about yellow apricot blossoms
2.1. Features of yellow apricot blossoms
Yellow apricot flowers, with their bright yellow hue and gentle fragrance, captivate the senses. Unlike other flowers of Vietnam that are preferred to be fully bloomed before Tet, yellow apricot blossoms are expected to flourish on the first days of the holiday. To witness the splendid beauty of yellow apricot flowers, you can visit any flower market in Ho Chi Minh City or explore the flower gardens in the picturesque Mekong Delta. The Southern people often pluck apricot leaves around two weeks before Tet to ensure the flowers fully bloom timely, marking the beginning of a prosperous new year.
2.2. Types of yellow apricot flowers
The diversity of yellow apricot blossoms is astounding, with each variety having its unique charm. Below are some of the most popular types of yellow apricot flowers:
- Mai vang (Yellow apricot): This sturdy deciduous tree is native to Vietnam and boasts over 30 distinct species. Its vivid yellow flowers are a symbol of prosperity.
- Mai nui (Mountain apricot): Thriving in the rocky terrains of the Central Highlands and Cambodia, mai nui's ability to draw water from the rocks results in its robust growth and abundant blooming.
- Mai se (Sand apricot): Common in provinces like Quang Binh and Quang Tri, mai se thrives on white sand dunes, making it a popular choice for Tet decorations due to its resilience.
- Mai chuy (Cluster apricot): Characterized by its clustered flowers, Mai Chuy exudes elegance. Its deep yellow hue and serrated leaves make it a favorite among enthusiasts.
- Mai chau (Buffalo apricot): Widely found in Southern Vietnam, mai chau adorns homes during Tet. Its large 5-petal flowers symbolize good fortune, making it a cherished variety.
- Mai liu (Willow apricot): With its cascading branches resembling willow trees, mai liu blooms with delicate elongated petals. Despite blooming with fewer flowers, its unique appearance is a crowd-pleaser.
- Mai chum gui (Parasitic cluster apricot): This intriguing variety partially depends on nutrients from other trees, resulting in peculiar growth and clusters of flowers.
2.3. Instructions on how to grow & take care of yellow apricot trees
Growing healthy yellow apricot trees requires careful attention to soil quality, watering, and pruning techniques. You should choose nutrient-rich, well-draining soil without acidity or salinity. A mixture of sand, compost, and coconut fiber will enhance water retention and provide essential nutrients.
After Tet, it's essential to revitalize the yellow apricot blossom tree. Place the pot outdoors in a lightly-shaded, well-ventilated area for 3-5 days, avoiding harsh sunlight that might scorch the leaves. Trim wilted or unopened flowers, ensuring the tree redirects energy towards new growth.
3. Significance of yellow apricot blossoms in Vietnamese culture
In Vietnamese culture, yellow apricot blossoms hold a revered place, especially during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. These yellow apricot flowers represent luck, prosperity, longevity, happiness, and wealth. As spring arrives and Tet approaches, yellow apricot blossoms unfurl their vibrant petals, embodying the spirit of new beginnings and the promise of a flourishing year ahead. The resilience of apricot trees in enduring various weather conditions also makes them symbols of nobility, admired for their ability to withstand life's changing seasons. Throughout history, poets have drawn inspiration from these blossoms to depict the grace of Vietnamese women across different eras.
4. Best places to see or buy yellow apricot flowers for the Tet Holiday
To experience the essence of this festive season, locals and visitors alike flock to bustling flower markets, where the air is filled with the sweet scent of blooming flowers and the vibrant hues of yellow apricot blossoms. Here are some popular flower markets in Ho Chi Minh City:
- Ho Thi Ky Flower Market: Alley 52, Ho Thi Ky Street, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
Established in the 1980s, Ho Thi Ky Flower Market stands as Ho Chi Minh City's oldest and largest flower market. During the days leading up to Tet, the market buzzes with vendors and buyers alike, offering a plethora of flowers sourced from all the regions in Vietnam, including the Mekong Delta, Sapa, Da Lat, etc.
- Dam Sen Flower Market: Nguyen Van Phu Street, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City
A gem among Ho Chi Minh City's flower markets, Dam Sen boasts over 60 flower stalls inside its covered area, offering an array of exquisite flowers cultivated using modern techniques. Apart from their beauty, the flowers here are incredibly affordable, making Dam Sen a perfect destination for both photography enthusiasts and those seeking vibrant yellow apricot blossoms.
- Hau Giang Flower Market: Hau Giang Street, District 6, Ho Chi Minh city
Primarily focused on wholesale flower trading, this market comes to life from late night to early morning. As Tet approaches, it is bustling with activity, offering a myriad of colorful flowers, especially roses and chrysanthemums imported from Da Lat.
- 23/9 Park Flower Market: Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
For urban dwellers, this flower market is a go-to destination for both shopping and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of Tet. Here, visitors can explore a variety of unique flowers from renowned nurseries.
- Le Van Tam Park Flower Market: Vo Thi Sau Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Although smaller than other markets, Le Van Tam Flower Market is a hub for rare flowers. This Tet, don't miss the chance to visit this market, where you can admire diverse flowers, take photographs, and purchase yellow apricot blossoms for your family.
- Gia Dinh Park Flower Market: Hoang Minh Giam Street, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City
This flower market is famous due to its proximity to Go Vap's renowned flower village. It captures the essence of a distinct Tet Holiday in Ho Chi Minh City, offering a unique blend of beauty, festivity, and tradition.
While celebrating Tet during your Vietnam travel, you can enhance your experience by exploring the country's many famous destinations, such as Hanoi, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. These are all vibrant cities with various activities to try out during Tet.
Additionally, consider staying at Vinpearl’s resorts and hotels, renowned for their luxurious amenities and world-class services. All of Vinpearl’s properties promise a delightful stay, ensuring your Tet Holiday is memorable. Additionally, you can indulge in the ultimate entertainment at VinWonders, a paradise of thrilling activities and joyful celebrations.
As Tet approaches, the allure of yellow apricot blossoms enchants the senses and evokes the spirit of celebration. Beyond their ornamental value, these flowers embody the rich tapestry of Vietnamese culture, connecting generations through traditions. So, when you embark on your Tet journey in Vietnam, let the golden petals of hoa mai guide you, offering a glimpse into the heart and soul of this vibrant nation. Embrace the elegance, symbolism, and natural beauty of yellow apricot blossoms as you usher in the Vietnamese Lunar New Year with grace.