Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

By Hoang Phong   January 4, 2020 | 08:00 pm GMT+7
Sa Dec villagers are readying prolifically flowering plants that will grace hundreds of thousands of homes and offices in a few weeks.
Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

Sunlight lights up the spray as a farmer in a boat tends to flowering plants kept on elevated racks in Dong Thap Province’s Sa Dec flower village. The village is home to 2,000 households that earn a living mainly by growing flowers and ornamental trees.

The village is considered the floral capital of the Mekong Delta and the main supplier of flowers to provinces and cities across the country, with around 2,500 varieties grown on a total area of 600 hectares.

Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

Just a few weeks before Tet, the Lunar New Year Festival, local farmers work from dawn to dusk on their gardens to prepare their flower and bonsai plants for sale.

Vietnamese people have a long tradition of using fresh flowers as offerings to deities and their ancestors to pray for luck and for house decoration during the country's biggest festival.

Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

Women wearing conical hats take care of marigold flowers, heavily favored as a symbol of luck and longevity.

Farmers here have been growing flowers and bonsai plants for more than 100 years. Their annual peak season, of course, is the Tet festival.

Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

A unique feature of Sa Dec is that villagers grow flowers all year round on platforms built above water. Farmers, therefore, must wear boots or use boats in taking care of or harvesting the plants.

Locals say this method helps them save costs because most of the arable land has been appropriated from rice farms in low lying terrain that floods easily.

Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

For this Tet season, an estimated 3 million plus flower baskets of about 2,000 different flower species, dominated by yellow daisies, chrysanthemums and marigolds, will be supplied to neighboring localities including Ho Chi Minh City.

Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

Typically, each orchard in the village has 20-30 workers doing different jobs including planting, watering and pruning flowers.

Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

Two children help their father harvest and transport flowering plants in full bloom. This is the busiest time of the year for the villagers.

Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

An elderly villager is all smiles as she poses with flowering plants prepared for Tet.

For years now, residents have also taken advantage of their flower growing tradition to develop local tourism. The flower village opens its door for visitors at this time, and the place gets crowded from late December to mid-January.

Century-old village blooms in photogenic splendor as Tet nears

Sa Dec is now a tourism attraction in Dong Thap Province, 139 km (86 miles) southwest of Ho Chi Minh City.

Sa Dec Town was the original setting of the autobiographical novel "L’Amant" (The Lover) by French writer Marguerite Duras, which is based on her love affair with the extremely rich Chinese-Vietnamese man, Huynh Thuy Le. The novel was published in 1984 and has since been translated into 43 languages and adapted into a movie in 1992.

Photos by Nguyen Van Luan

 
 
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