Top 10 Traditional Tet Flowers & Plants In Vietnam: Beauty & Meaning

Vietnamese Tet flowers and ornamental plants are an indispensable thing to prepare for every traditional Vietnamese New Year. Those that are said to have spiritual, feng shui meanings & bring good luck are often chosen, such as kumquat, marigold, peach and apricot blossom, lily, chrysanthemum, gerbera, orchid, Dracaena fragrans or pussy willow buds.

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tet flowers
Source: Internet

The approaching Vietnamese Lunar New Year is also the time when families clean and decorate their homes to welcome the first days, and an indispensable decoration is flower pots or ornamental plants. They not only help bring the warm atmosphere of spring and Tet holiday, but are also believed to bring luck, fortune and money to the owner. Each type of Vietnamese Tet flowers and plants has different meanings, so when people shop for it, they often choose carefully, and so the flower markets become particularly bustling.
At the beginning of the year around Tet, you will easily see in Vietnam the scene of rows of colorful potted plants and flowers spread out evenly on the street, riverside or a small city corner. In the cold air of the North or under the golden rays of the South, people stop to choose flowers for Tet, looking for something beautiful and suitable for their home space in hope of bringing good luck. In Hanoi, there are some famous Tet flower markets such as Quang Ba and Tay Tuu night markets, while Ho Thi Ky or Dam Sen flower markets are extremely unique cultural beauties of Ho Chi Minh City.

1 - Peach blossom - Top 10 Vietnamese Tet flowers

flowers for tet
Peach blossom - Source: Arina Vuu

The scientific name is Prunus persica, but this typical Tet flower of Northern Vietnam is more commonly known as peach blossom. This is a small woody plant with many pink flowers of countless petals, which depends on the type, ranging from white, pale to dark pink. It is the gentle and fresh color of peach blossom that has made it a favorite of many Vietnamese people, becoming one of the typical flowers for Tet. Some houses only have a small branch, others prepare a large tree, either way, just for the purpose of decorating and wishing for a healthy, happy and peaceful new year.
The scene of peach blossoms striving in harsh weather, in the midst of the cold rain of early spring, to bloom into beautiful Tet flowers is said to symbolize longevity, intense vitality, and proliferation. Its bright pink color symbolizes luck, while the many petals embracing the yellow stamens are a symbol of the cohesion of family members, when everyone gathers together to enjoy the New Year's gifts. This Tet flower is also considered to be the quintessence of the five elements, and according to feng shui, it can drive away evil spirits and bad luck, bringing a new year of peace and happiness.

2 - Apricot blossom - yellow flowers Lunar New Year

vietnamese new year flower
Yello apricot blossom - Source: earthtrekkers

Due to the warmer weather that is very different from the cold and drizzle at the beginning of the year in the North, the South also has its own typical Tet flowers. In particular, the apricot blossom or Ochna integerrima is the most prominent species with its brilliant yellow color, symbolizing luck, fortune and happiness. The apricot tree has a tall appearance, if cared for and kept, it can live and develop well for more than a hundred years, so it is loved by many people even outside Tet. In addition to the most basic type of yellow petals, apricot blossoms can also have some unique colors such as pink or white, the latter of which are rare due to difficulty in growing.
Although believed to have originated in China, these Tet flowers have been associated with the land and people in Vietnam since ancient times. It sprouts, deeply rooted in the ground, does not succumb to the wind and storms but persists over the years, no matter how harsh the weather. In addition to being likened by the ancients as a symbol of upright and noble character, apricot blossoms symbolizes affluence and wealth. Perhaps that's why almost every Southern family chooses apricot blossoms among other Vietnamese flowers for Tet - with the desire to enter the new year of joy and happiness.

3 - Kumquat tree - Vietnamese good luck plant

vietnamese new year flowers
Kumquat lucky tree for Tet - Source: Rehahn

Every time the new year comes, Vietnamese families often choose meaningful Tet flowers and plants to display, such as apricot or peach blossoms, and especially kumquats. This is a woody plant that is usually less than 2m tall, soft and malleable, popular to grow as an ornamental plant all year round. The kumquat tree has the ability to bloom but the fruit is what is of most interest, which has a small round shape and bright orange colors, inside are sour succulents. According to Oriental medicine, this plant can also be used as a folk remedy for cough, sore throat and abdominal pain.
Among popular Vietnamese Tet flowers and plants, kumquat trees can be kept from year to year, so they are often chosen by businesses and shops. This plant is also chosen because of the pronunciation of its name in Vietnamese, “quat” sounds similar to the word "Cat" in "Cat Tuong", which means having a lot of luck and blessings. The kumquat tree that has more green leaves and bright yellow fruits, the more it represents abundance and wealth, promising a new year of good fortune and health. If you are lucky enough to find a tree with both ripe and green fruit, as well as young buds, it will represent fullness and success, a symbol of health, peace, longevity and luck in love.

Vietnamese culture insights

4 - Meaningful Vietnamese new years flowers: Marigold

vietnam tet flowers
Marigold yellow flowers for Tet - Source: Flyicarusfly

This is one of the most commonly seen Tet flowers in the Lunar New Year holidays in Vietnam, used in both decoration and worship. Marigold is a herbaceous species that grows in clusters with a light fragrance, which can effectively repel insects, flies and mosquitoes. These types of Vietnamese new year flowers can be kept for a long time before wilting, have two main colors of yellow and orange, symbolizing warmth and positive emotions. The bright pots of marigold will help brighten up the space on the first days of the new year, as a welcome for a happy and prosperous time waiting ahead.
Many typical Tet flowers are chosen and preferred because their names suggest luck and happiness, and this flower is no exception. In Vietnamese, marigold means “thousand years” or “eternity”, so using it to decorate expresses happiness and joy, the desire for a long and healthy life. Easy-to-grow and long-lasting, this Vietnamese lucky flower is often planted throughout the streets, parks, sidewalks,... making the landscape more bright and vibrant. Marigold blooms are also often used on death anniversaries or to decorate the altar, because it symbolizes filial piety, mourning and remembrance for ancestors.

5 - Lilies - best flowers for Tet

vietnamese lucky flower
Lily flower for Tet - Source: Wikipedia

This is also one of the popular Tet flowers in Vietnam, due to its rich aroma, making the house both vibrant and full of attractive fragrance. Lilies can be in many different colors such as pink, red, yellow, sometimes even mixed, with often 6 petals and very long freshness if cared for properly. It is known as a noble and high-class flower, symbolizing beauty and virtue, purity, pride and faithful love. Therefore, lilies are not only suitable for decoration on the occasion of the traditional Lunar New Year, but also for gifting mothers and lovers, for congratulations, graduation or grand opening.
Similar to other types of Tet flowers, lilies with different ways of decorating and placements will also express a unique meaning. Yellow lilies with large petals will be extremely suitable on the ancestral altar at the beginning of the year, for worshiping and praying for good luck. Meanwhile, a vase of orange or purple lilies displayed on the drinking table will bring a feeling of warmth, openness and friendliness for guests. This flower is most beautiful when placed in a tall glass vase with a flared mouth, showing all of its nobility, also simple and convenient to prepare in busy Tet holidays.

6 - Chrysanthemum - Lunar new year yellow flower

lunar new year yellow flower
Top most popular flower for Tet - Source: Vov

It can be said that this is one of the indispensable Tet flowers in every home at the beginning of the year, especially for ancestor worship. Coming to Vietnam on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, you can see a lot of chrysanthemums sold in flower markets and roadsides. It has an intense vitality and bright colors, often eye-catching yellow, so many people love to combine it with other beautiful Vietnamese flowers. It is also believed that whoever has a lot of chrysanthemums blooming luxuriantly in their home, will receive luck and fortune, the family and descendants will reunite and be happy together.
Chrysanthemum - top most popular Vietnamese Tet flowers - is suitable for display in many important spaces in the family, from outside at the door to be placed on the altar, making the house more stand out and attractive. Besides the symbol of longevity and health, chrysanthemums also have the meaning of warding off evil spirits, circulating the air, attracting luck, fortune and favorable for the family. According to folklore, the more light the flowers receive, the fresher and more brilliant they will be, so you should decorate them in places with a lot of light and in accordance with the Feng Shui of the house.

7 - Gerbera - Vietnamese lucky flower

lunar new year yellow flower
Sourece: Internet

This is one of the most popular Tet flowers that are not strange to the Vietnamese people, with diverse colors so they are preferred to decorate to welcome the new year. Gerbera are said to be a symbol of bringing good luck, health and longevity, with quite cheap prices so many families choose over other types of flowers. A pot of these flowers in brilliant red, orange, yellow or pink placed in front of the house or in the living room, will make the house atmosphere more lively. Since ancient times, Vietnamese ancestors have believed that a house with gerbera Tet flowers will have money and good luck coming in like water for the whole year.
That's because this Vietnamese new year flower is believed to mean happiness and well-being, often bought as gifts for each other to give nice wishes, as well as congratulations on grand openings. In addition, the Vietnamese name of the Gerbera flower means “money,” so according to Asian feng shui it also symbolizes fortune. During Lunar New Year holidays, people think that they must use things with names that express the wishes of the owner, so this flower is specially loved. Using gerbera flowers in decoration is a wish to the whole family for a new year of fortune, luck and health, joy and happiness.

8 - Top 10 Vietnamese Tet flowers - Orchids

vietnamese tet tree
Source: Internet

Prominent amongst top famous Vietnamese new year flowers and plants, this "queen" of the flowers symbolizes wealth, luxury and nobility, bringing a lot of luck and success to the owner according to the principles of feng shui. With elegant beauty, vibrant colors and gentle fragrance, the charming orchid branches when used for decoration will make the home space become more exciting and lively, often displayed in the living room. That's because orchids are a light-loving type of plant, but if left in direct sunlight, they will easily fade and their leaves turn yellow, needing a place with enough light and temperature.
All Vietnamese Tet flowers have a unique beauty, especially orchids are considered as the queen of flowers with a powerful but no less charming beauty. This flower also has a strong and sustainable vitality, can be kept for a long time and continues to bloom after Tet if it is cared for. That is why orchids are extremely famous in Vietnam, loved by many people to buy as an ornamental all year round. In general, there are many species of them that can be used to decorate in the Lunar new year holidays, but the most common will be Phalaenopsis with vibrant and extremely attractive purple colors.

9 - Dracaena fragrans - famous Vietnamese Tet tree

vietnamese good luck plant

Source: thanhnien

Like Tet flowers, This is a type of Vietnamese good luck plant that has a very good meaning in terms of Feng Shui (Oriental Horoscope), so it is chosen by many people especially to decorate houses during Tet holidays. The tree has an upright shape, with many nodes and a hollow stem, quite similar to bamboo but more flexible, able to be easily molded into different shapes. This plant grows in both soil and water, with each node of the plant having sprouts, dark green leaves and yellow veins. The Vietnamese name of Dracaena fragrans means fortune - it is said to be a plant that brings luck and prosperity to the family.
Unlike most other Tet flowers and plants, the number of these plants planted in one pot will also have different meanings, for example, 2 means love and marriage. In addition, 3 plants represent happiness, longevity and wealth, 5 plants represent the five elements so it will enhance health - the 5 human senses, along with some other special numbers like 6, 8, 9, 10, 21,... As for the number 4, the pronunciation of the number in Vietnamese is quite similar to the word “death,” so many people often avoid using it in fear of it being a harbinger of bad luck, especially during Tet.

10 - Pussy willow buds - beautiful Vietnamese flowers for Tet

vietnamese flower for new year
Source: Internet

Along with peach, apricot and kumquat trees, this is one of the top indispensable Tet flowers in many families, said to be a signal of the new year in the early spring, as its name in Vietnamese literally means “looking for spring.” This is a plant of the Willow genus with another name, Willow silk, which is just a branch with flower buds but is often dyed with fancy or unusual colors such as purple, orange, yellow, red, blue, and so on. One of the advantages of pussy willow buds is that it can be kept for a long time, if well preserved so that the dye does not fade, it can even be used in the next Lunar New Year. This not only saves costs, but also brings good luck because according to the old concept, wilting Tet flowers on the first day of the year will bring bad luck.

A Glance At Traditional Vietnamese Tet Foods

Above are 10 types of plants and flowers for Tet holiday that every family in Vietnam often uses to decorate, symbolizing the owners’ wishes for health, convenience and fortune. Each of them has its own meaning and beauty, which is said to attract fortune and luck into the house during the first days of the year. Through the above article, VietnamTrips hopes that you have understood more about the famous Tet flowers and plants, the reasons for the love for them in the Vietnamese traditional New Year.

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Being born and living here in Vietnam, I got a chance to see lots of beautiful places, try countless great dishes, & experience many interesting things in places I visited. And It's so great to share all things I know about Vietnam to you.

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