HA NOI (VNS) — Real roses covered with chocolate and roses with perfumed soap are among the special items selling well in major cities ahead of the International Women's day, which falls on March 8.
Business has been brisk for the last few days at all shops selling flowers, jewellery, clothes or household commodities.
Flower prices, especially of roses, have risen sharply and florists are kept busy throughout the day.
Sales people say this year has seen a larger variety of rose-related gift items.
Roses made with perfumed soap are popular because they are fragrant and long-lasting, they say. A small bunch of soap-roses cost between VND350,000 and VND500,000 ($17.50-20)
Imported from the Netherlands, roses covered with chocolate have proved quite popular.
Nguyen Thi Van – employee of Flower Box in HCM City, said the chocolate layer doesn't make petals lose their freshness, and do not melt easily.
"We began receiving many orders for this gift several days earlier," she said.
Mini bonsai planted in glass pots are hot items, with young men buying them for their wives or girlfriends, as are gift cards of various kinds including those providing access to swimming pools and spa services.
All gift items of all price ranges seem to be selling well, from a simple glass or a pillow to expensive smart phones.
The gift of poems
This year, beside gifts that can be bought directly at shops, several services are being offered in the market, including the sending of "beautiful and meaningful poems" to women through mobile phones.
Several shops and centres in the city have opened classes teaching interested people the art of making cards, ribbons and bracelets.
Since the International Women's Day falls on a weekend this year, several tourism companies are offering tours with special discounts. Many men have also offered their beloved women swimming cards, and spa salons.
In the capital city, the event is being marked by several concerts.
Loi Yeu Thuong (Love Words) will be held at 8pm at the Ha Noi Opera House tonight and tomorrow night. Well-known singer Bang Kieu and his peers will perform songs of love and friendship at the Cultural Friendship Palace in Ha Noi.
Comedies telling the stories of women and couples are also set to entertain the public on this occasion.
Celebrations for workers
Women workers at the Tan Thuan Processing Zone in HCM City's District 7 will take part in cultural activities to celebrate Women's Day on March 8.
They will participate in cooking classes, karaoke singing contests, and other events organised by the city Women's Cultural Centre.
A concert, Giai Dieu Yeu Thuong (Melody of Love), will feature pop stars like Kasim Hoang Vu, Vo Ha Tram and Pham Khanh Ngoc, comedians Anh Vu and Lac Viet, and cai luong (reformed opera) artists Le Hong Tham and Vo Minh Lam.
Gifts will be given to thousands of disadvantaged women at the event.
Besides the activities for workers, the cultural house will also organise Women's Day celebrations at its headquarters in District 3 and branch in District 7.
A painting exhibition titled Ve Voi Thien Nhien (Back to Nature) will feature 28 works by 20 members of the Ngan Ha Female Artists Club. The paintings, in a range of mediums like oil and lacquer, will showcase changes in nature and the beauty of Vietnamese women.
The exhibition at 118 Ly Chinh Thang in District 3 will remain open until March 14.
The cultural centre will host a seminar on children's education, which will feature speeches by Dr Vu Le Chuyen, deputy director of Binh Dan Hospital, and Nguyen Thi Bich Hong, head of the psychology and education faculty at the HCM City University of Pedagogy.
Pham Thi Thuy, a lecturer at the National Academy of Public Administration, will speak about the role of women in modern life at the centre's District 7 branch on March 7.
A free concert, Sac Mau Cuoc Song (The Colour of Life), will be held at the venue on the same day with performances by singers Si Luan, Truong Quynh Anh and the It's Time band and comedy troupe Thu Trang. — VNS