Just a few weeks before Tet, local farmers in Sa Dec, the floral kingdom of the Mekong Delta work from dawn to dusk to prepare flowers and bonsai for sale.
Farmers in boats tend flowering plants kept on elevated racks in Dong Thap Province’s Sa Dec flower village.
The village has 2,000 households that earn a living mainly by growing flowers and ornamental trees. It is considered the floral capital of the Mekong Delta and the main supplier of flowers to provinces and cities across the country.
Sa Dec is home to around 2,500 floral varieties grown across a total area of 600 hectares.
Vietnamese have a long tradition of using fresh flowers as offerings to deities and their ancestors to pray for luck and for house decorations during Tet, or the Lunar New Year, the country's biggest holiday that peaks on Feb. 12 this year.
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 for rice farming in low lying terrain that floods easily.
For this Tet season, an estimated 250,000 baskets of chrysanthemums will be supplied to neighboring localities including Ho Chi Minh City.
Women wearing conical hats take care of chrysanthemums pots, heavily favored as a symbol of luck.
Farmers here have been growing flowers and bonsai plants for more than 100 years. Their annual peak season is Tet.
Truong, a local farmer in Tan Khanh Dong Ward, said this year, about 7,000 baskets of chrysanthemum have been planted and will be sold to traders from VND150,000 to VND170,000 ($6.5 - $7.4) a pair.
For years, residents have also taken advantage of their flower growing tradition to develop local tourism.
Due to the country's new break of Covid-19 community transmissions which began last Thursday, affecting at least 10 localities, visits to the flower village at this time have been limited to prevent the risk of contracting the virus.