NÓN LÁ


Nón Lá or Conical Hat is a traditional symbol of Vietnamese people. This style of hat is used primarily as protection from the sun and rain, or a basket for women going to market, a fan of a farmer in hot summer days, and even as a memorable keepsake. The image of a young lady wearing Nón lá and Áo dài is a beautiful symbol of Hue people in particular and Vietnamese in general.

Conical hats supposedly appeared around 300 – 400 years ago in Vietnam. Recently, Hue people started to embroider and draw poems on the hats, calling them Nón Bài Thơ (Poem Hat), making it a beautiful gift for their friends and families. Made from bamboo and layers of dried palm leaves, nón lá requires great skills, and even the most skilful workers can only make an average of three hats a day.



SILK LANTERNS

Traditional silk lanterns, coming to Vietnam several centuries ago via Chinese merchants, are a special product from Hoi An – one of busiest commercial centres in Southeast Asia in the 16th-17th centuries. The lantern craft in Hoi An has since become world-famous.

In the past, Vietnamese people often hung the lanterns with oil lamps on the eaves and both sides of the door to light up the whole quarters with a glowing, mysterious light at night, with hopes to bring in good luck and warmth for the town as well as happiness for the family.

Vietnamese people now use Hoi An lanterns in all special events and festivals such as Lunar New Year or Full Moon Festival or simply to decorate their houses and shops. Nowadays, the lantern craft has amazing diversity with many shapes such as sphere, hexagon, diamond, tetragon, and circular cylinder.


LOTUS FLOWERS

Lotus is the national flower of Vietnam. It is a welcome sign of summer, growing in muddy lakes but carrying a pure and beautiful fragrant. Lotus is also an important symbol in Buddhism as the seat of Buddha.

Lotus has a large variety of uses in Vietnamese culture: the stamens can be dried and made into a fragrant herbal tea called lotus tea, the seeds can be made into sweets or desserts, rootlets are widely used in Vietnamese dishes with their crunchy texture and sweet-tangy flavor, large leaves are used to wrap food, and the flowers make a beautiful sight in many houses and shops.

 


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