Hang Luoc Flower Market – A cultural rendezvous with the old “Tet taste” of the Ha Thanh people

Formed from the early years of the twentieth century to the present, the Hang Luoc flower market is one of the oldest flower markets in Hanoi, where many traditional Tet holidays are kept, only opened once a year in the last days of December.

In the second half of December, in the days leading up to Tet, Hanoi people rush to the Tet flower market to choose for themselves the freshest flowers, peach branches full of buds and pots of kumquats interspersed with young green buds to display in the house. Hanoi has so many flower markets, but people still keep the habit of going to Hang Luoc flower market, sometimes buying nothing, just enjoying the atmosphere of the old Tet flower market, which is still kept today, open once a year on days end of the year.

Since the first market meeting, except for Dinh Hoi Tet in 1947, there was no market, but over the past hundred years, Hang Luoc flower market has always been the meeting place for the old Tet of Hanoians.

The old Hang Luoc flower market – a special feature of Hanoi when spring comes

Hang Luoc flower market was held on Hang Luoc street and adjacent streets a long time ago, from the early years of the twentieth century. Nguyen Trai’s Du Ge even mentioned, Dong Cau market has held a flower market since the 17th century. This is considered the oldest flower market of Ha Thanh land. Hanoi now has many large flower markets and richer varieties of flowers, but Hang Luoc flower market is still an old place that hides many nostalgia of Hanoians every spring.

Hang Luoc Street was formerly called To Lich River Street because it was located along the North of the old To Lich River. From the railway bridge to the beginning of the intersection of Hang Ma, Cha Ca, Hang Dong, Thuoc Bac and the North bordering Hang Cot, Hang Luoc street still retains its own characteristics.

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 1.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 2.

Documentary photo: Referring to Hang Luoc street, people immediately think of Tet flower market.

At one time, this street was called Cong Cheo Hang Luoc street, so some people still call it Cong Cheo flower market. Originally, the old To Lich River ran to Hang Ca Street, then turned to the northwest to close to the wall of Hanoi, forming a small moat to protect the citadel. That turning point is across the street number 14 Hang Luoc, in the old years, when people went from Hang Dong street to the market, they still had to cross the bamboo bridge, then the bridge was replaced by a large sluice, Later the river bed dried up like The small creek drained water, so people at that time called it Cong Cross Street Hang Luoc.

The old Hang Luoc flower market was an area that inherited the scene on the wharf under the boat when the To Lich river was still there. Perhaps that’s why this place is busy buying and selling spring flowers every Tet holiday. In the book Hanoi in the first half of the twentieth century , researcher Nguyen Van Uan said that the Tet flower market used to be held in the yard and outside the three entrances to Huyen Thien pagoda next to Dong Xuan market. “After being moved to Hang Luoc, the market meets from the iron bridge to the Hang Ma intersection. Every year from the 20th December of the lunar calendar onwards, people grow flowers in suburbs, especially in Ngoc Ha, Huu Tiep, Nghi Tam and Quang Ba areas. , Nhat Tan, on both sides of the street, there are peaches, kumquats, chrysanthemums, begonias, gladiolus, dahlias; people who go shopping for Tet, people who go sightseeing are crowded, that is a unique feature of Hanoi. when the first day of spring has come.”

Going to the flower market has become a hobby of Hanoians before welcoming the New Year. Not having to go to the market to buy flowers, simply those who love the joyful and vibrant atmosphere of the world on the day before Tet they just want that joy, the color and fragrance of the Tet flowers to blend in.

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet taste of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 3.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet taste of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 4.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet taste of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 5.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 6.

Documentary photo: Hang Luoc flower market in the years 1956-1963/VNA

Looking at the peach branches still with pistil, seeing the orange-yellow color of kumquats or the colorful pots of crab orchids suddenly arise wanting to buy them home is not too strange for many people who go to Hang Luoc flower market.

Perhaps for Hanoians, the childhood memories of following their mother to the Hang Luoc flower market, visiting stalls with red envelopes, buying Tet goods, bargaining for a few flower pots will come back to life when walking on Hang Luoc flower market. .

Hang Luoc flower market today – space full of modern Tet flavor

Peach and kumquat are available everywhere, not just Hang Luoc market. But the taste of Tet lingers here, sowing on small pots of kumquats, tiny peach branches that fit the jar on the altar. And Hanoians still love begonias and can’t help but play daffodils.

Right from the beginning of December, daffodil lovers have bought bulbs, cherished, cared for, washed and placed in a vase until New Year’s Eve just in time to bloom. In addition to Hang Luoc flower market, there are also a few stalls displaying daffodils, but there are not many.

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 7.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet taste of Ha Thanh people - Photo 8.

This year, Hang Luoc flower market still sells many beautiful small kumquat pots suitable for even small living spaces like in the old town.

Instead, it is still mainly peaches from the suburbs pouring in for sale, small pots of kumquats that fit the living space of the people of the old town.

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet taste of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 9.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet taste of Ha Thanh people - Photo 10.

The intersection with Hang Ma also sells many Tet decorations, especially the cat mascot stickers of the year of the Rabbit 2023.

Along the Hang Luoc flower market to the neighboring streets, at the end of the year, people also sell antique stalls, from flower vases, bronze statues to animals according to each year. Mascots of 12 animals to ancient coins are also on sale. And the year of the Rabbit is of course indispensable with cat statues.

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 11.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 12.

Right at Hang Luoc flower market, many antique stalls, from mascots, dishes, antique coins are on sale.

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 13.

In the year of the Rabbit, it is indispensable to have a bronze and wooden cat mascot…

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 14.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 15.

Peach from the neighboring flower village comes to sell a lot, small traders here said that small peach branches cost about 300,000 VND, large peach branches are asked fewer people to buy.($1=24,000 VND)

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet taste of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 16.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet taste of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 17.

From December 24th, old scents have also appeared at Hang Luoc flower market and are also bought by many people.

Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of the Ha Thanh people - Photo 18.
Hang Luoc flower market - A cultural rendezvous with the old Tet flavor of Ha Thanh people - Photo 19.

From the iron bridge across to the mural street of Phung Hung, the walking space here is also sold with many Tet bonsai, Tet flowers, …

Going to the Tet flower market is one of the cultural beauties as well as the habits of the people that have been passed down through generations. Buying spring rolls, banh chung or giving Tet gifts, people still keep the habit of going to Tet flower markets to see the fullness of spring. At that time, people can breathe in their chests the hot air dyed on the petals of peach blossoms, on the small pots of kumquats while fruit is blooming.

Not only shopping, watching flowers, people also take advantage of walking, taking souvenir photos, saving memorable moments waiting for spring to come. Whether past or present, Hang Luoc flower market is still a cultural rendezvous, a place to store the flavor of Tet, which every citizen, whether born and raised, or chooses Hanoi as the promised land, wants to experience.