2008 Tet New Year-1st Post

by on January 26, 2008

This Lunar New Year of the Rat doesn’t begin till February 7, 2008, but in Little Saigon, CA, today, you would never know that this grand Tet event was still 11 days away. What an fantastic sight it was along Bolsa Ave between Magnolia /Brookhurst!! This is the first weekend that the outdoor flower stands and other flower vendors started showcasing and selling the prized Tet flowers. Along this flower powered strip of Bolsa Ave, tents were set up at various shopping centers providing protection for a plethora of orchids, chrysanthemums, kumquat trees, and various other flowering peach branches. Traditions of adorning your house with flowers and gifting them to family and friends brings you good luck and a multitude of good tidings for the coming year. The myriad of flower colors and exotic fruits screamed out to the Vietnamese community that Tet was approaching and their the petal pushing flower vendors dotted this heavily congested, but excitement filled heart of Little Saigon. The vibe of Tet was bountiful everywhere, especially with the sound of firecrackers in the air.

The excitement amongst all us drooling customers were the new variety of deep crimson/gold chrysanthemums. Goodness! They were just beautiful with their dual, contrasting colors. Their strong and plentiful presence this year was a must have for many of us loyal lovers of the traditional yellow chrysanthemums. We bought just a few (4) of these new crimson chrysanthemums for now (but will back for more) and a few more orchids (3). Parking was a premium today and luckily we parked about 3 blocks away, which meant we were only able to carry back to the car what we were able to carry in our arms.

If you live in the Southern California area, YOU MUST VISIT Little Saigon during the Lunar New Year Celebration not just for the flowers, but for the food, for the festivals, for the culture and for the experience of being in the Vietnamese community’s most exciting time of the year. You have 11 more days …time passes quickly!

P.S. We only had a small pocket sized camera today and if you didn’t notice, it had a smudge on the lens. Ugh! Sorry for the foggy pictures!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wandering Chopsticks January 27, 2008 at 4:02 am

Chom chom! And the crimson chrysanthemums are gorgeous! I can’t believe they set up the flower stalls already. Tet is still 2 weeks away.

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2 White on Rice Couple January 27, 2008 at 12:42 pm

WC- yes, rhambutan! rhambutan! We were surprised as well to see the flower stalls arrive this early. What a treat! If you buy any of the red crimson ones, the prices vary , so check all the stalls before you commit!

Christine- Forgot to mention that there was the karaoke too! Huge speakers were set outside the stands playing the latest “Paris by night” music . The snacks at the festivals are great too. We’ll be eating a couple extra just for you.

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3 Christine January 27, 2008 at 11:57 am

I adore yellow Asian chrysanthemums but Wow oh wow…I love those crimson ones, so striking. I miss strolling along the shops on Bolsa and looking at all the flowers, fruits, cakes and munching on snacks from the vendors. I even miss the glaring sound of fobby karaoke they played on the sidewalks :) But I’m happy to see and experience our New Year again through your photos!

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4 Wendy Withers January 27, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Do you have any tips for growing orchids? My mom keeps buying them, and they keep dying. I’m a horrible plant-killer and haven’t transcended past African violets and the bamboo that lives in my fishie’s bowl, so I don’t have anything to offer her to make them survive.

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5 White on Rice Couple January 27, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Wendy, we have grown many, many orchids over the past 12 years and have killed many during the process. It all depends on where you live and what variety you want to grow and get to bloom. Of course, orchids are native to humid climates, so most varieties will do very well. Here in Southern California, we always have great luck with orchid varieties that are more cold tolerant, such as cymbidiums and dendrobiums. These are the type that are normally used for orchids. We don’t have a greenhouse so we can only grow what is best for our region. So the best thing to do is to find out which varieties will be happy in your Mom’s climate. From there, you can get the appropriate fertilizer and care info.
Good luck to you Mom. We grow about 20 orchid pots and all are doing beautifully, but remember, we’ve killed about twice that amount to understand what is happy in our garden. It’s an expensive, but satisfying hobby.

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6 Wendy Withers February 2, 2008 at 4:01 pm

We live in Florida, and my mom keeps her orchids on a glassed in porch, which is probably somewhat like a greenhouse, because the sun warms it most of the time. I’m not sure what type she has; it almost seems like every time I visit her she has a new orchid she bought at a flea market or grocery store. She frets over hers, and my sister will dump one in a corner at her house, forget about it, then stumble upon it a few weeks later in full bloom. It drives my mom crazy.

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7 Christine February 6, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Happy New Year to you both and your families!

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8 Jessica Lee Binder September 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I’m going to arrive in LA tomorrow and I would love to tour around Little Saigon. Do you have a list of your favorite restaurants/shops?

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9 nancy January 6, 2010 at 1:17 pm

i know you posted this awhile ago but i came across your website looking for flowers for a wedding. i absolutely love the crimson chrysanthemums! would you remember who the vendor was that were selling them? thnx:)

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10 White on Rice Couple January 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Nancy – Hi! During the week before Tet, all the flower markets around Little Saigon, Westminster CA are full of flowers. These particular crimson chrysanthemums are plentiful too. Almost every chrystanthemum vendor has them.
So, usually the week before Tet, the largest flower market is right in front of the Asian Garden Mall, off of Bolsa Ave. Just head on over there and you should see plenty of these crimson beauties! Other than that, we’ve never seen them anywhere else , nor at any other time. Good luck!

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11 nancy February 15, 2010 at 11:31 am

since it’s tet again, thought i’d check you guys out again. thnx for the reply! unfortunately, i live in nyc so heading over to the asian garden mall is not so easy. can i ask a favor if you guys find yourselves over that way to note who the florist(s) is/are? i would greatly appreciate it:) thnx again!!

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12 nancy February 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm

sorry for my rudeness, Chúc mừng năm mới :)

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