Like the apricot blossom, the narcissus plays an important role at Tet. It is considered a good omen if they bloom on New Year’s Day, so great care is given to their cultivation, with the use of sugar water, gluing, and other techniques, to ensure their blooming at that time. This page tells the legend of the Narcissus.
A rich old man had three sons. When he felt he was about to die, he called in his children and said that he wished his fortune to be divided equally among them. The children promised to respect his will and the old man died happily.
He had hardly been buried when the two elder sons took most of the youngest one’s share. Only a poor plot of good-for-nothing-land was given to him.
The unfortunate younger son was sadly looking at his inheritance when he saw a fairy appear. “Stop crying,” she said. “There is a treasure hidden beneath your plot of land and your brothers don’t know it.” She explained that the sprout of a most valuable flower was hidden under the soil.
The boy was astonished and the fairy said, “You’ll get rich with these flowers; each spring will see them bloom in your garden and you can sell them at a good price.”
The boy was filled with gratitude and prostrated himself on the ground to express his thanks, but the fairy disappeared.
The very next spring, the land was covered with a fragrant whiteness. In memory of the fairy who protected him, he called the flower Thuy Tien (water fairy). Everyone who saw it loved its beauty and delicate perfume. The lords and the rich began to contend with one another to buy them and offered fabulous prices for the floral wonder.
In just a few years, the lucky fellow accumulated an immense fortune from the sale of the Narcissus. As he became richer than his stingy brothers who tried to rob him, the narcissus became the symbol of success and prosperity. This is why it is used for Tet.
More Popular Legends In Vietnam
– Spreading of Lime Powder Around the House of Tet
– The Legend of the Apricot Tree
– The Legend of Firecrackers
– The Betel And The Areca Tree
– The Compassionate Protectress of Children
– The Lady of Nam Xuong