Nguyen Hue Flower Street-Year of the Dragon

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Tet, the Lunar New Year in Vietnam, is the most important holiday of the year. For me it is also the prettiest. There are displays of blossoms throughout the city, along with fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve. In Ho Chi Minh City the crowning glory of events is the Tet Flower Festival right in the center of town.

Tet Flower Festival-Ho Chi Minh City

Every year during Tet, Nguyen Hue, the main street in the central business district is transformed for one week into Nguyen Hue Flower Street. During this time traffic is banned on the wide boulevard and the central islands are decorated with magnificent floral displays. Throughout the week Vietnamese of all ages stroll through the impromptu park snapping photos and having fun.

Nguyen Hue Flower Street-Ho Chi Minh City

“Eternal Spring” was the theme of the festival for 2012, also the Year of the Dragon. All along Nguyen Hue the eponymous dragon was displayed, in both floral and paper mache versions.Nguyen Hue Flower Street-Ho Chi Minh City-Dragon

At the head of Nguyen Flower Street the statue of a benevolent “Uncle Ho” floating among lotus blossoms presides over the festival.Nguyen Hue Flower Street- Uncle Ho

Family photos are a popular souvenir with the beautiful floral displays as a background. Here one of the official event photographers organizes a family for their portrait by the dragons.Nguyen Hue Flower Street-Ho Chi Minh City-Family

Hotels enter a competition for best flower arrangement, interpreting the theme of “Eternal Spring”. This entry from the New World Saigon Hotel features anthuriums, pussy willow, orchids, roses, lilies and an unusual accent of winter cabbage.Nguyen Hue Flower Street-Ho Chi Minh City- Hotel Arrangement

Notice how the dad in this family is wearing a “Florida” shirt while his family mugs for the camera. . .Nguyen Hue Flower Street, Ho Chi Minh City-family with Florida shirt

Of course, a big event like this brings out all the celebrities, including this uber-chic little miss in her sassy pink dress!Nguyen Hue Flower Street-Ho Chi Minh City-Sassy little girl

For 2013 the Nguyen Hue Flower Street Festival will run from February 11-16, celebrating the Year of the Snake.  Anyone who will be in Vietnam on those dates should plan to visit Ho Chi Minh City to see this beautiful exhibit. And as the Vietnamese say:

Chúc mừng năm mới! (Happy New Year)

Nguyen Hue Flower Street-Ho Chi Minh City-pretty little girls

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