Ho Chi Minh City's flower street welcomes ads in Year of the Rooster

By VnExpress   November 9, 2016 | 10:55 pm PT
Sponsorship advertisements will appear among the flowers for the first time.

A man waters flower decorations on Nguyen Hue's Tet Flower Street in early 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Duy Tran

Ho Chi Minh City will line its pedestrian boulevard with flowers and advertisements in the last week of January.

Municipal workers will begin decking Nguyen Hue with flowers starting at 7 p.m. on January 25. At 10 p.m. on January 31 -- the fourth day of the lunar calendar -- the walkway will be cleared and normal traffic will resume.

The city will close lanes on either side of the pedestrian walkway to vehicle traffic as long as the flowers remain in place.

As in previous year, signboards bearing the names of the event’s corporate sponsors will hang from street lights and corners. This year, however, advertisements will appear among the flowers.

According to Vietnam's unique zodiac system, 2016 is the Year of the Rooster. For generations, Saigon's families have marked the coming of a new year by donning crisp new clothes and taking photographs standing among downtown displays of bright flowers.

Nguyen Hue has traditionally hosted the displays with the exception of the previous year, when the municipal government spent $19.7 million to converting it to a pedestrian walkway that opened in April 2015.

The popular destination closes to vehicle traffic from 6-11 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

This year, the municipal government will license a series of food and drink concessions along the walkway.

The much-anticipated displays will take 15 days to set up and an evening to sweep away.

Vietnam has yet to decide how many days it will grant for the Lunar New Year holiday, which is two and a half months away. Vietnam's labor ministry has suggested two options (seven and ten days); the Ministry of Home Affairs has called for the shorter of two options.

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