For travellers and new residents of Saigon who haven’t experienced Tet, a whole new experience is in store. Just walking down city streets, pedestrians can’t help but notice the extravagant decorations arching across roads and draped over tree branches. These decorations are a way for Vietnamese residents to share their excitement, and the energy is certainly palpable.
The fun doesn’t stop on the street. At New World Saigon, festive Tet decorations have recently been installed in the lobby and dining area of the 5-star hotel, and they’re truly magnificent. To focus on the ancient Vietnamese traditions that form the core of Tet, the artisans at New World have designed all the decorations around the art of origami, a paper-folding art practiced throughout Asia.
In the dining area located on New World’s first floor, a magnificent 1.4 metre-tall chicken family has been fashioned entirely out of paper. As 2017 is the year of the rooster in the Vietnamese zodiac, this colourful paper sculpture pays homage to the rooster, an animal important both to Vietnamese culture as well as the zodiac calendar.
Of course, Tet wouldn’t be complete without traditional Dong Ho paintings. This ornate style of painting, featuring bold, graphic colors and beautifully delineated shapes, are put up by Vietnamese residents every year to symbolise the lunar new year. New World tips their hat to this ancient craft on the windows of their Parkview Restaurant. Transparent stickers with Dong Ho images have been set up on the venue’s light fixtures to give diners an authentic look into this storeyed time of year.
And when you’re having dinner at Parkview, be sure to check out the scrolls – called cau doi in Vietnamese – hanging from the windows. Each cau doi scroll features a beautifully ornate calligraphic message in Vietnamese about Tet and the lunar new year. It’s a subtle touch, but one that’s sure to make every patron look forward to the coming year.
The amount of work and detail New World Saigon has put into these decorations is admirable, and the results are worth their efforts. Check out these works of art – both origami and Dong Ho – and, of course, have a wonderful Tet!