HCMC bustling with preparation for Dragon Boat Festival

HCMC dwellers yesterday flocked to supermarkets and traditional markets to buy special items for this year’s Dragon Boat Festival.

People are purchasing bamboo-leaf-wrapped rice dumplings near Tan Quy Market in District 7 (Photo: SGGP)

A large quantity of shoppers could be spotted early in the morning of June 6 near Tan Quy Market of District 7. Hoang Anh Tuyet, a local near the market, shared that her neighborhood maintains the habit of celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival each year for decades. Taking advantage of the weekend, she excitedly bought necessary items for her family to use on the Festival the following day.

Other large traditional markets like Vo Thanh Trang (Tan Binh District), Hoa Hung (District 10), Go Van (Go Vap District) were full of people coming for Festival commodities.

At present, the price of fermented rice balls is VND30,000 (US$1.18) per box, of bamboo-leaf-wrapped rice dumplings is VND50,000 – 80,000 ($1.97 – 3.15) per tens of different sizes, and of aromatic herbs is VND20,000 ($0.79) per pack. Some businesses offer beautifully packed premium rice dumpling boxes at a price of VND199,000 – 235,000 ($7.8 – 9.2) per box.

Meanwhile, the two fruit festivals of ‘On the Wharf – In the Boat’ (District 8) and ‘Southern Fruits’ (Suoi Tien Park – Thu Duc City) are serving a huge number of visitors, many of whom come for Festival shopping.

In agricultural wholesale markets in HCMC, the volume of produce is abundant for reasonable prices. For instance, Dak Lak lychees are sold at VND25,000 ($0.98) per kilo, rambutans at VND35,000 ($1.38) per kilo. There is a convenient ready-made offering service delivered at door at a price of around VND800,000 ($31.5) per offering for the Dragon Boat Festival.

People are shopping for food in MM Mega Market (Photo: SGGP)

On this occasion, many department stores and supermarkets are running their own promotional campaigns to stimulate purchasing power. MM Mega Market is offering discounts on summer produce like Tra Vinh mangosteens at VND69,900 ($2.75) per kilo, plums at VND53,000 ($2.1) per kilo, Tien Giang oranges at VND15,000 ($0.59) per kilo.

Co.opmart and Co.opXtra are launching the ‘Dragon Boat Festival – Coming to Co.opmart mall’ scheme, with merchandise (festival food, fruits, flowers for offering) on discounts of up to 50 percent. There is also a vegetarian buffet party in each supermarket under the Saigon Co.op system to serve shoppers.

It is now the summer fruit season; therefore, shoppers have a wide choice of festival fruits that suit their own pocket. Ngoc Huyen, owner of a convenience store on Quang Trung Street (Go Vap District) commented that the quantity of festival buyers this year is enjoying a great rise. Careful as they are with their purchases, consumers still pay much attention to sensible discounts and promotional campaigns. The purchasing power lately has risen by 5 – 10 percent.

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