Hoi An's Kumquat Festival
Cam Ha, just 1.5kms out of Hoi An city center, hosts a Kumquat Tree Festival every year. It takes place approximately three weeks before Vietnam’s greatest Festival celebrating the Lunar New Year (Tet).
The centerpiece of the festival is ceremonial for Hoi An’s kumquat tree cultivators: to honor the tree growers’ ancestors – the kumquat growers who preceded them. This celebration is also an opportunity for Hoi An’s kumquat farmers to show off their considerable skills, particularly how they prepare the trees so that they are bearing the maximum amount of fruit, precisely at the time of Tet Holiday.
Kumquat Trees and Tet
It is considered very auspicious to have a kumquat tree laden with fruit in your home at Tet as it’s a harbinger of good fortune for the coming year.
But it’s not as simple as it seems. The cultivation of a high quality kumquat tree is very labor-intensive. After three months all the flowers should be removed. At the end of summer, the tree must be dug up carefully on a selected day, aiming for maximum fruit at Tet Holiday time.
As Tet Holiday approaches, with an eye to the year ahead, Vietnamese people all around the country choose the right tree to decorate their homes.
Kumquat tree cultivation is an important part of Hoi An’s local economy. Hoi An is a key producer for the nation, both city and province. Not only is this industry an important contributor to the local economy, it is a vital ingredient in the joyous spirit of Tet for the entire nation.
photos: Phan Thi Lai