On Tuesday, I spotted the sun for the first time since we arrived in Hanoi almost two weeks ago. It was pretty glorious, even if it was still warm coat temperatures.
Hanoi City was bustling with people preparing for Tet, which marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year on Monday.
While I enjoy watching the preparations in general, one of my favorite parts is seeing motorbikes carrying Tet trees. This is very common.
(Credit to Brian for capturing the motorcycle photo.)
Our apartment complex has also been preparing for Tet. The walkway along the main road has been transformed with flowers, statues, rocks, and other decorations.
(Theo kept asking why the woman had a pot near her bottom. I had to admit that I wasn’t really sure. )
Another part of the complex has been transformed into what looks like a traditional village, complete with a pretend garden. (When we arrived, this space was a paved road.)
The lobbies of each apartment entrance are also decorated. Our lobby features a monkey tree, presumably since it will be the year of the monkey.
From what I’ve heard, Tet is the most celebrated holiday in Vietnam, kind of like Christmas and New Years rolled into one. We’ve definitely seen tons of preparations during our stay thus far, though most of the actual celebrations are outside of the cities in more rural areas.
Because of all of the surrounding festivities, Theo’s enthusiasm for Tet is approaching what I would imagine he might have felt about Christmas, had we been back in the USA. Theo has been asking when it’ll be time to “celebrate Tet with the family” several times a day. Luckily, we are going to start that adventure tomorrow, when we head to a family-run guesthouse near Ninh Binh to spent Tet Eve and Day.