As May brings the summer time in Vietnam, the beautiful Lotus season and lunar April celebrate Buddha birthday, we would like to take the moment to introduce the Lotus flower, which is native to Southeast Asian countries, particularly Vietnam. The plant that has its roots firmly in the mud, and sends out long stems to which leaves and flowers are attached. The leaves are sometimes, and its flowers always, raised above the water surface. The beautiful and fragrant Lotus flower opens in the morning, and they are swaying in ponds across the country every summer.
Lotus flowers are so popular that its motifs can be seen at any Buddhist pagoda, national hero’s temple and cultural houses in Vietnam. Grown up from the muddy bottom of low water ponds and lakes, the leaves sway on the surface like large flat umbrellas while the petals open in the morning high into the air. The flower enjoys the warm sunlight, always looks so clean and pure against the background of the muddy pond. Therefore, Lotus flower is always associated with the sun, purity and beauty.
In Buddhism, Lotus flower is known to be associated with purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. The flower is considered pure as it emerges from murky waters in the morning, and be perfectly clean out of the water when blooming. The blooming of the flower every morning also represents the desire, the purity of spirit and spiritual enlightenment.
The flower has been regarded as the national flower of Vietnam, symbolizing the beauty, commitment, strength, honor and knowledge. As it blooms during the day, peek out from its leaves at night and only re-emerge in the morning, hence Lotus flower is also associated with rebirth.
The Vietnamese maintains a long-standing love with the Lotus, not only in architect but also in traditional cuisines and medicines. Lotus flower tea can lower cholesterol and help improve circulation, while the stems make a perfect salad and the seeds are roasted for use in soups that make us sleep better. The flower is the most common representative symbol for the Vietnamese culture and lifestyle, representing the growth and prosperity of the Vietnamese over their four thousand years of history.
Lotus flower enjoys three-month season from late May through August, Tay Ho area (West Lake) in Hanoi or the countryside of Ninh Binh, Hue, Hoi An or Saigon are all boasting the beauty of pink and white Lotus flowers in full bloom during the season.