The upcoming celebration of Ram Thang Gieng (the full moon of the first lunar month) marks a strong increase in demand for fresh food in the market, but prices have remained stable.
|People buy fruits at a traditional market in Hanoi to prepare dishes for the celebration of the first full moon in the lunar year. Photo: Hoai Nam/The Hanoi Times|
The first full moon of the lunar year falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month. On that day, Vietnamese prepare some dishes in honor of the gods, Buddha, and ancestors, and pray for the happiness, luck, and prosperity of their relatives.
In 2023, Ram Thang Gieng falls on January 4.
Given such meaning, demand for fresh and good quality food before and during the day tends to increase. In 2023, however, prices for raw and fresh foods are virtually unchanged from the pre-Tet period in traditional markets.
At traditional markets in Thanh Xuan, Dong Da, and Ba Dinh districts, chickens sell for VND150,000-170,000 ($6.40-$7.25) per kilo, pork for VND130,000-160,000 per kilo, and beef for VND240,000-330,000 per kilo.
According to a vendor at Thanh Cong market in Ba Dinh district, fish prices have hardly changed, while shrimp prices have dropped to VND350,000-400,000 per kilo, down from VND450,000-500,000 pre-Tet.
Not only meat products, market prices of vegetables and fruits have also changed a little. Fruit vendor Nguyen Thi Huong at Kim Lien market said prices of some commodities have even fallen sharply from pre-Tet levels and consumption has increased slightly.
For example, dragon fruit sells for between VND45,000 and VND50,000 a kilo, oranges for between VND50,000 and VND60,000 a kilo, and apples for between VND100,000 and VND120,000 a kilo.
During the first days of the lunar year, home delivery of prepared meals has also become busier, as caterers can provide well-cooked dishes for people who have little time or skill to prepare dishes.
The value of a table of food made ranges from VND1.2 million to VND1.8 million. Customers can call or text the business for home delivery.
Nguyen Ngoc, an owner of a homemade food table store in Cau Giay's Trung Hoa District, says the number of orders has increased a lot ahead of Ram Thang Gieng.
"We have received more than 400 orders, three times more than on normal days. Prices have hardly changed from last year," he said.
In some supermarkets, vegetarian food is sold at prices ranging from VND30,000 to VND100,000 a piece.
Vu Thi Lien Ha, an owner of Co Hong vegetarian restaurant, says the price ranges from VND800,000 to VND1 million for a standard meal and VND1.5 million to VND2 million for each high-end meal.
"Our restaurant has received more than 30 orders and more will come in the next few days to Ram Thang Gieng," she said, adding that the restaurant will work three shifts a day to fill orders.
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