Central Vietnam market goes bananas for Tet

By Hoang Tao   January 23, 2020 | 02:45 pm GMT+7

Tan Long Commune in Quang Tri Province, a known banana hub, is swarming with the important Tet staple as sellers and buyers flock to the local market.

Tan Long commune, with an area of about 3,700 hectares, is known as the land of bananas of Quang Tri province in Central Vietnam. The banana market is located in the center of the commune.  Many traders highly prize Tan Long bananas for its appealing look and how abundant and reasonably priced they are.  Tan Long bananas are purchased by traders who resell them to big outlets in different provinces across the country, or for exports to China, Thailand and Laos at VND6,000-8,000 per kilogram. These days, locals are also buying for Tet offerings. Unripe bananas are also sold in rooms, with prices ranging from 200,000 VND to 1.5 million VND each.

Tan Long Commune, with an area of about 3,700 hectares, is known as the land of bananas in Huong Hoa District. 

Many traders prize Tan Long bananas for their appealing look and reasonable prices. They buy at VND6,000-8,000 ($0.3-0.4) per kilogram and resell them to big outlets in different provinces in the country, or for export to China, Thailand and Laos.

These days, locals are buying the bananas for Tet (Lunar New Year festival) offerings. Unripe bananas are also sold as bunches, with prices ranging from VND200,000-1.5 million ($8.6 - $65) each.

Selecting the best tray of five fruits is undoubtedly one of the most important rituals during Lunar New Year celebration, or Tet in Vietnam. The fruits are arranged in a balanced cone and in harmonious colours.Fruits that may be laid out on the tray include bananas, finger citrons, watermelons, oranges, kumquats, coconuts, apples, and persimmons. A hand of green bananas is typically placed at the bottom. The spreading of the bunch symbolizes the protection of ancestors and supernatural powers. An alternative to bananas would be finger citrons.

Selecting the best tray of five fruits is undoubtedly one of the most important rituals during Tet celebration. The five fruits may be bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes and kumquats. 

A hand of green bananas is typically placed at the bottom. The spreading of the bunch symbolizes the protection of ancestors and supernatural powers. An alternative to bananas would be finger citrons.

Ho Lam (R) sells four bunches of bananas for VND3 million ($130).During Tet, locals are willing to pay an exorbitant amount of money for beautifully looking fruits as they indicate their respect to the ancestors and gods at Tet offerings. Tan Long bananas are cultivated naturally without fertilizers or pesticides; they are planted 6 to 7 meters apart from each other so I could have beautiful bananas to sell for Tet. It takes four months for a banana tree to flower and produce ripe fruit, Lam said.

Ho Lam (R) sells four bunches of bananas for VND3 million ($130). For Tet, locals are willing to pay much more for beautiful looking fruits as they see it as indicative of their respect to the ancestors and gods while making Tet offerings.

"Tan Long bananas are cultivated naturally without fertilizers or pesticides; they are planted 6 to 7 meters apart from each other so I could have beautiful bananas to sell for Tet. It takes four months for a banana tree to flower and produce fruit," Lam said.

Binh, another banana merchant and his friend drives their truck overnight from Da Nang to Tan Long (242 km) to arrive early in the morning to buy bananas. This is the third year since he started trading bananas during Tet.This year, the price of bananas is higher than last year, many large bunches cost up to VND2 million a bunch ($86). I only buy small bananas, easier to sell, Binh said.

Binh, another banana merchant, and his friend have driven their truck overnight from Da Nang to Tan Long (242 km) to arrive early in the morning. This is the third year he’s been trading in bananas during the Tet season.

"This year, the price of bananas is higher than last year, many large bunches cost up to VND2 million ($86) each. I am only buying smaller bunches, they are easier to sell," Binh said.

After five days, Pham Van Thanh, a resident of Tan Lap commune, Huong Hoa district in Quang Tri earned VND6 million ($258) from selling bananas. Generally, money earned from the banana crop at the end of the year is enough for my Tet shopping, said Thanh.

After five days, Pham Van Thanh, a resident of Tan Lap Commune in Quang Tri’s Huong Hoa District has earned VND6 million ($258) from selling bananas. "Generally, money earned from the banana crop at the end of the year is enough for my Tet shopping," he said.

Tan Long Banana Market is opened until the afternoon of the last day of the lunar calendar this year, or January 24.

Tan Long banana market remains open until the afternoon of the last day of the lunar calendar, or January 24 this year.

The country will enjoy a seven-day holiday for the Tet festival this year, starting January 23.

 
 
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