Hàng Mã is one of the 36 old streets of Hà Nội and is now decked out in brilliant red ahead of the Lunar New Year. It is home to the traditional craft of making joss paper in different shapes such as horses, shoes, clothes and even houses. These items are burned as offerings to worship ancestors.
The street is also famous for selling themed decorations.
On special occasions such as Christmas, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and Valentine’s Day, the street sells decorations that match the theme of the holiday.
Now Hàng Mã Street has had a bright makeover as Tết (Lunar New Year), the biggest and most important holiday of the year, is just around the corner.
Paper firecrackers, handmade Tết wreaths and posters of calligraphy are among the most sought-after items ahead of the holiday. Wishes of luck, peace and happiness are written on these decorations.
Decorative hangings replicating traditional foods during Tết, such as bánh chưng, bánh tét or watermelon are also snapped up by many customers as they believe that these items will bring prosperity to their families.
For Vietnamese people, no holiday is as significant as Tết. It’s an occasion for family reunions, worshipping ancestors, taking a once-a-year rest and preserving traditional values.
Many families have taken their children to the street to explore the Tết atmosphere and give the kids a chance to embrace the traditional and cultural values at a young age. — VNS