Preparing for Tết

Line of five tall vases on pavement by busy road. Tết sees Vietnam's main artery, the AH1, turned into an extremely long thin market. Every available space beside the highway is utilised for selling festival goods Vietnam's New Year jamboree - Tết - is preceded by weeks of manic preparation. As in other countries, the whole population seems to feel the need to refurbish their wardrobes and houses, and to buy at least twice as many presents, and double the weight of food, necessary. Eager to help citizens achieve their goals, enterprising retailers (i.e. nearly all the population of Vietnam) set up stalls on every available square inch of free ground. For this purpose the sides of highways offer ideal sites: a great 'volume' of passing traffic, no rent charges, and easy access. These shots of road side convertions were all taken in Tĩnh Gia. Those jars again, and their place next to the Highway Rows of lillies at kerb with woman standing behind them, and awning over. Flowers and trees dominate the areas beside the road -
running for a mile through the centre of the town
The market entrance lined with Tết items - although the attention of the camera holder is on dodging the motorbikes Apporach to main market entrance lined with stalls. Sweets (left) and more flowers (right) flank the market entrance. The hen will indubitably be incorporated into the festivities at some point. There are two To the first of these two pages. other pages about To the second of these two pages. this market Packed stall of sweets in elaborate packaging. And here are those sweets - the packaging is a little less suave than the Japanese equivalent, but no less thorough A clip of the road with which the sellers are competing. This was taken before the central barrier was in place. However, the need to ride against the traffic flow is the same as it was in the past! Motorcyclist and passenger inspecting vegetables and flowers at a roadside stall. Being by the roadside allows prospective customers to inspect the goods without dismounting Range of ornimental items with customer and seller standing and traffic just behind them. Knick-knacks, ornaments and gifts are all part of the annual jollifications. Notice the tail end of a 40 ton truck within a few metres Another view of the road, this one with the barrier and trees on the side running into the distance. More recently there is a central barrier and wider road; but still, at Tết, there is a land grab for the roadside and it extends as far as your eye can see Massed array of Kumquat trees with two men standing beside them. Where the countries of northern Europe bring pine trees into their houses for the winter celebrations, in Vietnam it is plumb in blossom, and kumquats in fruit, that fulfil this role. These latter, seen here, are purely decorative, the fruits are far too sour to eat Vases of exhotic flowers and grapefruit tree. The range of flowers in a tropical country is endless Potted plants and one of plastic plants. Despite the great range of flowers available here in the tropics, there is still room for a vase of plastic blooms that can be brought out again next year Two people on a motorbike with kuamquat tree between them, driver signing hi! ...getting it home is another matter... More massed kuamquat trees. Spotting the tree you want is one thing... Man pulling barrow loaded with kuamquat trees and looking down road. ...although there are always plenty of willing helpers if the price is right. His eyes, as he steps out onto the AH1, are on those trucks thundering past. More on the AH1 in a few weeks.
And the next page brings Picture Posting to the time of Tết itself
Trailers... Extended Family Formal Portrait. The next page of this section brings us to the time of the Tết festival. So a page of pictures from past celebrations. Back lit man with circles of light. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed
'Hermeneutical Circle'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 30th January 2021 Murphy on duty to this site

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