ExperiencesCity & CultureThe smell of old age at the end of the year
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City & Culture

The smell of old age at the end of the year

Translated by Bing
She opened the lid of the pot and filled me with a basin of freshly heated old smelling water, the fragrance wafting through the small house, warm and pleasant.

At the end of the year, I was busy leaving after my last work session. Sealing the property, closing it is all done. At 2 p.m., I ran home, prepared a 30 p.m. meal with my family.


The roads were much emptier than usual, and families from far away had returned to their hometowns a few days before. The office is also closed, ending the last work session from yesterday. Everyone was at home preparing for the year-end meal, only the market was still busy. Those who have not finished shopping for food for the New Year days take advantage of buying them this afternoon.


An old smell passed on the old, creaky bike. The flowers are tiny, white, the bunches of tiny fruits vibrate with each rhythm of rotation. It is not clear when the bouquets of old smelling flowers became the image of Tet. There are pink peach blossoms, there are ripe yellow kumquats, there are purple violets but there is no old scent, spring seems to be missing and Tet seems to have not returned yet.



The old smelling car stopped the spinning beats, parked on the side of the street. The ladies, the little mothers who surrounded them, soon had almost all the flowers gone. On New Year's Day, the smell of old selling is better than vegetables in the market, more than peaches because every family buys at least a few bundles to cook year-end bath water for the whole family. The soothing and warm fragrance of the smell spreads throughout the street, soothing the cold of winter. A bunch of smells glistened in the market lanes, radiating in all directions. I also bought a bunch of smells even though I knew my mom had bought it at home. The bundle of old smells tied to the rear of the car gave off a fragrance along the way home.


After a busy afternoon of rice and water, cleaning the house, Mom curled up all the old smells into a large pot of water, setting it on the stove. The whole family took turns bathing at the end of the year with coriander leaf water. The smell to heat the bath water must be the old smell stem, which has produced clusters of small speckled green fruits, dotted with a few beautiful little white flowers. The old smell gives a very deep aroma and lingers for a long time. After bathing, the whole family smelled warm, faint incense until a few days of Tet to fly all the smell. Bathing in the water of smelling leaves at the end of the year to wash away all the worries, worries and fatigue of an old year, welcome a new year full of joy and hope.


Over the past time, life has changed a lot, the way to celebrate Tet is also much simpler, but the custom of bathing at the end of the year with coriander juice is still preserved. Only once a year at the end of the year, Hanoians are immersed in the very unique fragrance of old smelling leaves.



I wrapped myself in the scent, letting the fragrance dispel the bad luck of the old year. The smell is like sauna leaves, making us clear our minds, the whole body is relaxed and relaxed. The scent caressed gently. An old year is passing, a new year is approaching, for more wonderful things to come. The smell of old age at the end of the year is like a warm mother's heart, like spring is coming to the porch.

Image source: Multiple authors
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