Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam:: Day 1

Our visit to Ho Chi Min City (Saigon), Vietnam was spectacular because we arrived on the eve of Chinese Lunar Year-Spring Festival. While this would be like unto our big holiday celebration at Christmas in America, in China and neighboring Asian countries it is Christmas/Thanksgiving/4th of July/Easter/Rose Parade all rolled into one HUGE festival. And it is celebrated non-stop for 15 days.  
A downtown six-block (one mile) boulevard in Ho Chi Min City was transformed in to the most gorgeous, MASSIVE floral landscape imaginable. Absolutely breath-taking!!! Fountains, meadows of flowers and grass, ponds, you name it...IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET!!

At night, spectacular lighting highlighted the beauty of  the flowers. On New Year's Eve the crowds of well-wishers were as dense as Rio de Janiero during Carnival. During the day, families walked the six-block area in their finest apparel, many in beautiful ethnic finery.

2013 is the Year of the Snake.  

Outside of our hotel with a happy snake cleverly wound in & out of the the hotel lobby to the street.

This display of "trees" is actually hundreds of individual potted flowers. An architectural wonder. You can gauge the size of it by the people in the corner of the photo.

Buddhism and Hinduism are blend in this part of Asia.  The pig represents a New Year's offering.

This banner identifies the name of this celebration in Ho Chi Ming City in Vietnam that began in 2004. Cruise ships docked in the harbor brought people from all over the world.

Meadows of flowers were everywhere in the six-block celebration area....IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET.

On New Year's Day, hundreds of people promenaded in their holiday finery admiring the Spring Festival displays. 
This is a beautiful family.

As I walked around looking at the flowers I realized that the people were as beautiful as the flowers they were admiring. I couldn't help but take photos of both.

Two very cute Korean girls.

Many streets are brilliantly lit up at night for Chinese New Year.

A very proud father!

This is one at many large water fountain displays...IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET.

More beautiful "Lady Flowers"

Here is a clever watering can fountain. Can you imagine the logistics of pumping water through each can? And that's a good size pond at the base of this fountain display....IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET!

These fellows are an integral part of the Chinese New Year Festival culture. They each bring hope and gifts of good fortune and prosperity.

TWINS ! !  Now that is a lucky family!

Another fountain and another lucky Mommy.

One display area had 7 large, lovely floral arrangements submitted by luxury hotels for a floral display competition.
This was the Grand Prize winner. It was about 6 1/2 feet tall and wound its way to the ground. Gorgeous!

This display incorporated the Year of the Snake theme and included some Chihuly-type glass.

This woman created floral designs from clay.  Her fine motor skills were amazing to behold along with her creations.

Sometime people was pictures of us Americans.

The city came alive a night with millions of lights.

We have Christmas trees, but in this region for Spring Festival folks will bring large branches or potted plants of pink blossomed peach trees...or forsythia...or miniature orange trees into their homes and businesses.

And even a waterfall.....
cascading over boulders.....

 !!!!!! MAGICAL !!!!!!

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