Mổi năm hoa đào nở
Lại thấy ông đồ già
Bày mực tàu giấy đỏ
Bên phố đông người qua.
Just as the pink cherry blossomed each year
The old scholar was sure to reappear
With China ink and red paper in scrolls
Amidst the swelling crowds that surged and rolled.
One of few famous poems that I remember by heart - about the Spring and those images which related to our traditional New Year - Tết, have faded away. Whenever our Tết is approaching, I always remember this sadly beautiful poem that I learnt in my childhood.
A calligrapher in Saigon - a retro image of the old times, preparing his writing as best wishes for New Year.
Bao nhiêu người thuê viết
Tấm tắc ngợi khen tài,
Hoa tay thảo những nét
Như phượng múa rồng bay!
Nhưng mỗi năm mỗi vắng
Người thuê viết nay đâu
Giấy đỏ buồn không thấm
Mực đọng trong nghiên sầu.
So many people paid him handsomely
For his talent that they admired dearly,
The flourishes of his accomplished hand
That wrought dragons and phoenixes on end.
Each passing year saw fewer people come.
Where were they all who paid him so handsome?
Now his paper had lost its crimson red,
His ink dried out in its sad forlorn bed. (*)...
(*) "The calligrapher" by Vũ Đình Liên, translated by L.D. Le.
Pink cherry blossomed - a sign of the arrival of Tết, but only in the North.
and here you go: Golden Mai (Mai vàng) - a symbol of Spring in the South.
Happy with a gorgeous red paper flowers, though it called "paper"but it's real flowers!
Curious about this flower, never need water, like immortals!
Orchids from highland Đà Lạt, a luxury choice for house decoration during Tết.
These orchids from a huge flower shop, not far from my place. So beautiful!
There was a year that I bought only orchids for house decoration and hope to keep it...
but failed, the orchids were dying after few months, despite our everyday care.
Đồng Khởi street - famous with many buildings from the French colonial times...
Lion dance is a part of our tradition for many celebrations, they bring a good luck!
And very special moment - New Year Eve, it's a time that almost every family, every house set up a table with offerings such as fruits (usually 5 different fruits that we call Ngũ Quả), sweets or traditional sticky rice cake - in front of the house...to welcome the New Year, to pray for the best to family, to loved ones...To me it would be one of the most spiritual moments, at this time I always have mixed feelings : quick flashback to the past, some deep thoughts to the future...
Best wishes to everyone, who follow my blog over the past first year! Thank you and
Happy Snake's Year!