Hang Ma Street in Hanoi Old Quarter is full of colors, signaling a coming-close Christmas season
Hang Ma Street is one of the streets in Hanoi's Old Quarter . When the French set foot on Tonkin (1872), the street had the French name Rue du Cuivre. It has traditional crafts making votive objects, including paperwork and paper decorations. These days, if you have the opportunity to visit Hanoi, do not miss the chance to stroll through Hang Ma street to see the colorful decorative items for sale to feel the Christmas atmosphere is coming very close.
Characteristics and location of Hang Ma street
Hang Ma Street today belongs to Hang Ma Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi City. The east end of the street is an intersection with Hang Duong , Hang Ngang and Hang Chieu. The western end of the street is a junction with Phung Hung and a train track. Hang Ma is located 100m from the Dong Xuan market to the south and 700m from Hoan Kiem Lake to the north.
History of Hang Ma street
In the French colonization period, Hang Ma street was collectively named Rue du Cuivre together with Hang Dong street now. The people here including a number of Tan Khai villagers' families who came to settle down to open shops selling paper and votive paper used for rituals according to Eastern customs , and paper goods used for decoration, especially for worship.
Hang Ma history is also famous for the typical architecture of Hanoi's old town, which are tubular houses and match house. Tubular houses are the ones with limited width, but the people have cleverly combined living space, worship, rest, production and business in a cramped space. Match house is a two-storey house with fake doors or small windows that open to the street surface, and houses like these, apart from tiled roofs, tilted out to the street side, have more thatched roofs to cover the sidewalk in order to prevent the rain and sunlight from getting into.
Business and trading affair on Hang Ma is impressively crowded during the Full Moon festival in July lunar calendar about a month before the main day, and from 24th December right after Tet of Mr. Gong and Mr. Apples until noon on 30 Tet lunar calendar (also known is Chinese New Year). These days, businessmen on Hang Ma street are more flexible according to the development and exchange of culture between the East and the West. Therefore, they even sell things for Haloween ỏ Christmas, which are holidays originating from Western countries.
photo by: Xoa Ky Uc
Despite that there will be almost one month left until Christmas day, along the Hang Ma street (Hanoi) was bustling with many decorations for Christmas. As noted, toys as well as Christmas decorations this year are quite diverse in design and style. Christmas decorations on Hang Ma Street, apart from traditional ones, have many new designs. The typical decorations such as, pine, laurel, Santa Claus, reindeer, snowman ...
Hang Ma Street has long become an ideal place for shopping, playing and taking photos of Hanoi people every Christmas. Walking around Hang Ma, it's not difficult to realize that the whole street has been changed to a new one. Ordinary everyday goods have been replaced by glittering ropes, bright red and blue ribbons, mannequins, dolls, snowflakes, fake pine trees ... attract people and tourists. At Hanoi.
The Christmas wreath is an important and necessary decoration to hang at the door of every home. This type has many colors to let buyers choose suitable space for decoration.
Hang Ma Street is an ideal place to play and take photos for young people in Hanoi at Christmas. These days, many hobbyists invite friends, family, relatives or take children to this place to see all the items for sale and find a lovely gift to feel a Christmas warm atmosphere. This street is also popular among foreign tourists as well, because even though they are mostly from Western countries where Christmas is one of the most significant event of the year, they still find this street special and impressive. It is just like, feeling Christmas, feeling home in a faraway place – not to mention in the middle of the Old Quarter of Hanoi with thousands years of culture and history.
Written by: Quynh Nhi