There is an overwhelming festive atmosphere throughout Vietnam to herald the arrival of the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, the country’s biggest holiday in the year. Flower and bonsai markets add glowing, spring colours to the scene.

In Ho Chi Minh City , as many as 68 flower markets opened on February 3, selling various kinds of flowers and decorative trees for Tet. Among them, three large markets are located in the September 23 Park, Le Van Tam Park and Gia Dinh Park. The rest is in districts surrounding the city.

Baskets of flowers, transported from Mekong delta provinces, are lining up at nearly 500 booths at Binh Dong wharf and Phu Dinh port, creating a colour feast for the eyes. They also feature the unique trade of floating markets.

Popular yellow apricot, dao (peach) and quat (kumquat) are befriended by a wide range of imported flowers, such as red apricot, over 100-petal yellow apricot, and bonsai trees, which are pruned to symbolise happiness, peace, luck and prosperity.

Flower growers and traders said that prices remain the same with last year, except for some, which slightly increase by 5-10 percent.

Phu My Hung Spring Flower Fair offers over 500 pavilions of flowers and bonsais to meet customers’ Tet needs. Besides, it designs 200 other booths to sell specialties hailing from different regions in Vietnam .

Southern Dong Nai province is also filled with a fantastic environment of a spring flower fair, with more than 250 booths displaying numerous kinds of flowers, bonsais and precious decorative species grown nationwide.

In the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, streets are coloured with a sea of flowers of different types, with the yellow of chrysanthemums dominating.

Decorating their homes with chrysanthemum, which is traditionally symbolised for immortality and prosperity, during Tet, is a tradition of Hue residents.

Meanwhile, people in central Binh Dinh province are flocking to Quy Nhon city-based spring flower fair, which kicked off on February 3, to choose the most fresh and beautiful flowers for their homes.

Peach, often grown in the north, is found, along with bright chrysanthemums, forget-me-not, kumquat, at over 200 kiosks there.

In the capital city, a huge array of exotic flowers is decorating Nghi Tam street, the main supply route of flowers in Hanoi since early February, showing off their beauty and colours and attracting crowds of people to view.

One of the highlights of the holiday season is a six-day flower show and trade fair at the Centre for Art and Cultural Exhibitions at 2 Hoa Lu Street which began on January 31.

The pre-Tet festive atmosphere, coupled with colourful flower markets nationwide, is expected to bring in happiness, luck and success to the nation in the year of snake in the zodiac cycle.-VNA