In the lead-up to Tet, countryside markets are filled with an exciting and vibrant atmosphere that reflects the traditional cultural values of each local region. People visit these markets not just for shopping, but also to soak in the warm and festive spirit of Tet in their hometowns.

Unlike regular market days, Tet market days in the countryside span from the 23rd day to the morning of the 30th day of the last lunar month of the year, as the demand for shopping surges ahead of the grandest traditional festival.

During these market days, women clean the family altars, adorn their homes, purchase food, and prepare five-fruit trays – all in preparation for Tet. Meanwhile, young children eagerly accompany their parents to the markets to buy new clothes, fruits, and sweets.

These rural Tet markets are expansive areas brimming with a wide array of goods. Locally grown agricultural produce and products from other areas flood the market, including glutinous rice and “dong” leaves for making “chung” cakes – a Tet specialty, pickled shallots, bananas, and areca nuts. These items are fresh and much more affordable compared to their urban counterparts, offering a diverse range of choices.

The market stalls in these rural areas are simple, with vendors sitting on low stools or right on the ground, displaying their products on tarps or in baskets in front of them.

Beyond being places for trading goods, Tet markets are also the venue where people share their stories from the past year – both the happy and the sad ones. This exchange fosters an invisible bond that deepens connections and strengthens the spirit of community.