Beautiful Vietnam
Unique Hue bamboo flowers brighten Tet Ceremonies
  • By Ngoc Nghia, Dai Duong | | February 01, 2012 05:35 PM

Hue people usually offer hand-made bamboo flowers in their new year prayers for health and happiness.

Handmade bamboo flowers at An Cuu Market

Every year, when Tet comes, small traders in Hue busily craft bamboo flowers for the new year markets.

Nguyen Thi Hanh, a handicraft bamboo flower trader at An Cuu Market said, "The flowers are sold out in two weeks. Every year I earn VND50,000 (USD2.37) a day selling them at VND4,000(USD0.19) a pair. This kind of flower sells well because of what it represents: the bamboo tree is the symbol of Vietnamese villages and tradition. It also represents the strong, everlasting spirit of the country. Natural bamboo flowers are a precious masterpiece of nature since the bamboo tree only flowers once every 100 years. That’s why a New Year tray of offerings always has hand-crafted bamboo flower."

A hand-crafted bamboo flower is easy to make. A young bamboo tree is chosen and sawn into pieces approximately 20 centimetres long and as big as a thumb. Then a broad blade is used to strip and curl the bamboo. Lastly, the makers use their hands to curb the bamboo into the shape of a flower. The bamboo flowers are available in many colours but red is the most popular since it’s believed to bring good luck.

Each kind of flower has its own beauty and meaning, but the handmade bamboo flowers have become a unique tradition of the former capital of Hue. 

An old trader selling flowers in the rain

Colourful hand-crafted bamboo flowers

Red bamboo flowers are the most popular

Bamboo flowers flood the markets

Trader offering flowers

A good sale for trader and customer

Hue people continue to buy handmade bamboo flowers

Fowers displayed with betel and areca nuts

Traders earn good money from hundreds of flowers

Handmade bamboo flowers offered on a family altar

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