|Nature’s miracle: Huế locals love lotus flowers due to their fragrance and gentle beauty.|
THỪA THIÊN- HUẾ — During Việt Nam’s imperial era, the country’s old capital, Huế, became home to many lotus ponds grown to fit the needs of the royal family.
For instance, a special type of tea served to Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945) kings was processed by putting tea leaves inside blooming lotus flowers to give the tea the moisture and fragrance of the lotus. Lotus seeds and roots were also used as ingredients in meals served to royalty.
Among those, Tịnh Tâm pond is particularly famous as a royal family favourite. It’s where the kings had their picnics and enjoyed entertainment. Legend has it that the kings ordered the finest lotus species to be grown in the pond, which is now renowned for its special seeds.
Dynasties crumbled and were replaced, but the lotus flavor remains beloved by Huế residents. These days, lotus can be found in abundance in the watery system around and inside the citadel.
In fact, the cultivation of lotus is busier than ever.
Lotus season begins in April and ends in July, when flowers fully bloom and yield mature seeds. During that time, large crowds of people often gather around the ponds to gaze at the beautiful flowers. Farmers can be seen collecting flowers for sale. Young people come to pose for photos with the flowers. Local photographers try to capture their beauty.
Sale of the lotus flowers creates buzzling markets, as locals look for beautiful flowers to decorate their homes. The flowers are considered especially sacred by Buddhists. They believe that looking at a lotus is like looking at the Buddha himself. — VNS
|Blast of colour: The unique beauty of lotuses at sunrise.|
|Beautiful labour: A farmer works to collect seeds.|
|Regal spread: White lotuses, a signature of old imperial capital Huế. VNA/VNS Photos Nguyễn Văn Sum - Huê Phong|
|Fragile splendour: A lotus pre-bloom.|