1991 Mekong Delta Tet flower market blooms afresh

By Nguyen Quy   February 13, 2019 | 07:02 pm PT
1991 Mekong Delta Tet flower market blooms afresh
Locals pick up fresh flowers in Can Tho City in the lead up to Tet. The photo was captured by Michael Yamashita in 1991.
A 1991 photo of a Tet flower market in Can Tho became instantly popular Tuesday on National Geographic’s Instagram account.

The photo, taken by American photographer Michael Yamashita, quickly went viral, with nearly 300,000 likes as of Wednesday.

The photo captures local residents buying fresh flowers, mostly marigolds. Yamashita said that the love Vietnamese people have for flowers is most evident during the Tet (lunar new year) festival.

Vietnamese people have a long tradition of offering fresh flowers to deities and ancestors during the festival, praying for luck and peace.

In the Mekong River Delta, marigolds and chrysanthemums flood the Can Tho market with yellow, orange and red colors, believed to bring good fortune in the New Year, the photographer said.

This was one of the photos that Yamashita captured during a six-month trip along the Mekong River from upstream Tay Tang Plateau to the Mekong Delta.

The American photographer worked for the U.S. magazine in 1979 and spent a lot of time traveling to Asia, pursuing his passion for photography.

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