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!