Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — As a decades-long Vietnamese tradition, the calligraphy markets in HCM City have attracted locals and tourists looking for artworks that will bring them happiness, success, wealth and health.
More than 60 calligraphers dressed in áo dài (traditional long robes) including men and women of varying ages, are working at two calligraphy markets at the Youth Cultural House and the Workers Cultural House in District 1.
The members of the calligraphy clubs in the city and neighbouring provinces are showing off their skills and selling Vietnamese calligraphy in black and yellow ink on red paper.
Calligrapher Võ Đức Dự of HCM City said it was the second time that he had participated in the market.
“I’m very happy to introduce my calligraphy works to people to wish them a happy Lunar New Year,” he said.
The works cost between VNĐ15,000 and 150,000 (US$0.6-6) depending on the craftsmanship, size and materials. Bigger works are VNĐ300,000 ($13) or more.
This year, calligraphers are taking requests from visitors for words to write on red lucky money envelopes.
Chicken souvenirs made of copper and ceramic are also offered for VNĐ20,000-200,000 ($0.9-9).
Most visitors like to buy cute things such as lucky money envelopes and small calligraphy pictures to hang on mai (ochna) trees, Dự said.
Decorated with mai and đào (peach) trees, the calligraphy market at the Youth Cultural House has attracted many residents and foreigners.
The image of calligraphers sitting on mats arranged in an oval shape symbolising peace also reminds them of calligraphy markets in the old days.
Phạm Phương Thảo, who is working in District 1, said: “My friends and I are very excited. We prepared áo dài two weeks ago to be ready for the opening of the market.”
“The decoration of the market is traditional and colourful. We have had numerous beautiful photos,” she added. “The calligraphy market is one of the cultural traits in HCM City during Tết, along with the Tao Đàn Flower Festival and Nguyễn Huệ Flower Street,” said Thảo.
Both markets at the Youth Cultural House and the Workers Cultural House will remain open until January 27 (Lunar New Year’s Eve). — VNS