Big pigs to hog limelight on Saigon’s flower street

By Quynh Tran   January 15, 2019 | 06:31 pm GMT+7

Artisans are putting finishing touches on giant pigs that will dominate Saigon’s famous flower street to welcome Tet.

Colorful pigs to take over Saigons iconic flower street for Tet celebration

With three weeks to go before the famous Nguyen Hue Flower Street opens in downtown Saigon, one of the city’s major annual attractions to celebrate the Lunar New Year, artisans at a facility run by Nguyen Van Tong in HCMC’s District 12 are working round the clock to complete decorating pig statues.

The flower street will open to tourists on February 2, two days before Lunar New Year’s Eve and the zodiac animal of the coming year is the pig. The Year of the Pig will start on February 5.

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Tong’s workshop is responsible for designing a pig family of nine that will greet and welcome visitors at the entrance of the flower street.

Workers have completed shaping the father pig, who is 2.9 meters tall. This pig will wear the Vietnamese long dress ao dai and a striped scarf khan ran, typical men’s attire in the southern region in the old days.

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A 2.6-meter-tall mother pig takes shape at the hands of artisans. The mother pig will also wear an ao dai and a conical hat, which have been a cultural symbol of Vietnamese people for centuries.

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Tong, whose workshop is designing mascots for Tet display on the Nguyen Hue walking street for the third year in a row, applies yellow paint on a happy pig. He said the pigs will be painted with two main colors, red and yellow, symbolizing luck, wealth and prosperity.

"It has taken nearly two months for artisans in my workshop to finish all the giant pig statues," Tong said. 

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Besides Tong’s workshop, a group of other artisans are in a hurry to finish decorating 30 pig statues at the Van Thanh Tourist Area in Binh Thanh District.

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Colorful pigs of various shapes and sizes are waiting to move to the Nguyen Hue flower street.

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The last step to get the pigs ready is a paint spray that will help avoid scratches and fading when they are displayed on the flower street.

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According to artisans, drawing eyes for the mascots are the most important and challenging step because it can affect the nuances and expressions on the pig’s face.

Since its debut in 2004, Nguyen Hue Flower Street has become a major attraction, drawing thousands of people every day during the Tet occasion.

 
 
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