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Feature: Traders Enjoy Increased Sale of Chinese-Vietnamese New Year Gifts in 2023

PHNOM PENH: As the Chinese and Vietnamese New Year approaches, many are busy selling and buying ornaments, trees and flowers to prepare for the festivities.

Market vendors are hard at work, but are seen with happy faces because there are a lot of customers coming to buy goods such as roast pork, chicken, duck, fruit, and cakes which are important items needed to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Lim Meng Heng, a vendor selling roast pig and duck at Orussey Market, is seen busy talking on the phone with numerous customers. She says that there are more buyers this year than in previous years.

"This year is much better than last year," she remarks.

Decorations are also a major part of the Chinese New Year. Red and gold ornaments, which are considered to be the colors of good fortune, are sold at many markets as they are widely purchased to decorate homes to dispel evil and enhance the New Year.

Srey Nich, a wholesale retailer of Chinese New Year decorations, hurries to add up bills for customers while sweating profusely. She says she has been busy selling items until 1 am at night, but she does not mind the extra hard work and fatigue as there are many customers who come to support her shop and buy more decorations.

She explains that she had prepared the goods for sale at her shop for close to two months, so that wholesale buyers can retrieve the items and resell as soon as possible, and to also allow those who want to decorate their locations to have all the decorations prepared in advance. She says the momentum of sales has been high over the past 10 days, and her best selling items are lanterns, house stickers, and offering papers, which are all seen as essential items for the Chinese New Year.

"I started preparing a month and a half ago because I have a lot of wholesale and retail [customers], so it is easy for customers to resell and buy decorations [if I prepare in advance], they can buy the decorations earlier," said Srey Nich.

She added that after the government successfully implemented vaccination measures and reopened all sectors of the economy, her sales this year have been better than in previous years.

Along the street, you can also see a display of marigold flowers, orange trees, and yellow mai flowers. Many buyers in both cars and motorbikes stop by the side of the road to purchase the flowers and trees to decorate their homes, shops or other locations.

In the sweltering heat of the day, Ms. Ang Leng continues to sell yellow mai flower trees with a smile on her face, on the corner of Sampov Meas pagoda. She has been selling flowers at this location for more than 10 years. She says the reason she is smiling this year is because there are many more buyers, and she has been able to sell many trees for between US $60 to US $200.

"This year is much better, last year I was not able to sell much, but this year I have sold a lot, I sold four to ten pots yesterday," she said.

She added that the best selling flower tree is around US $150 because it is a decent size to decorate homes.

Sa Lou is a customer who came to buy this flower tree, following Chinese tradition which says that this tree represents good fortune. He says he comes to buy this tree every year.

"Chinese tradition, in general, we have to use it once a year, because it means a lot, we put in the house, and we can say it's feng shui or our business to grow, according to their respective beliefs," said Sa Lou.

Sa Lou, who is also a roast pig seller, claims that his sales this year have increased by 30% compared to previous years.

This year's Chinese New Year offering will be held on Saturday, 21 January 2023, and the Chinese-Vietnamese New Year will be held from 22-24 January 2023.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said, while meeting with about 1,200 construction workers at the site of the new National Techo Santepheap Hospital on Thursday morning, 19 January 2023, that everyone should share happy moments on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, and be careful of traffic accidents and accidental fires.

"May you enjoy the Chinese New Year," he said.

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