Pandemic doesn’t stop fortune seekers on God of Wealth day
By Lyly Cao, Minh Phuong and Linh Chi
HÀ NỘI — Despite the effects of COVID-19, Hà Nội’s “Gold Street” was still packed with early morning customers on Sunday looking for luck.
The 10th day of the Lunar New Year is the God of Wealth Day, when Vietnamese buy gold to bring fortune and prosperity for the coming year.
And although money is tight this time around due to the pandemic, it didn’t stop people keeping up the tradition.
Trần Nhân Tông in where many gold shops are located.
Phú Quý Jewelry Store sales manager Trần Xuân Dũng, said although there had been a slight dip in sales compared to previous years, it is still one of their busiest times of the year.
“The number of customers increases by five to seven times compared to other days during the New Year,” Dũng said.
“However, the sales declined by around 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, so Phú Quý Jewelry has prepared fewer products as last year.
“This year, because of the intense situation of the pandemic, we have plans to ensure safety for the customers when trading at Phú Quý Jewelry. We provide free masks for customers and ensure health [measures are followed].
“We have also placed markers at the cashiers to ensure distance following the order of the Health Ministry. We also ask our staff to strictly follow the ‘5K’ order of the Health Ministry [Khẩu trang (facemask) – Khử khuẩn (disinfection) – Khoảng cách (distance) – Không tụ tập (no gathering) – Khai báo y tế (health declaration)].
“This year, on God of Wealth Day, customers tend to choose traditional products such as rings, zodiac products or bracelets with charms. They just buy small gold products to put in their wallets or wear to bring them luck.”
Among the early morning shoppers Sunday was saleswoman Hoàng Thị Thu Huyền, who made sure she was one of the first in line.
“Today is the God of Wealth Day, so I want to bring lots of fortune home,” she said.
“I went out at a quarter to five which is a lucky hour today, and today is also a lucky day.”
Taxi driver Tuấn Anh is a regular shopper this time of year. And he hopes his purchases will help bring fortune for the next 12 months.
He said: “I went out at 6:30am, which has become my habit for ten years. I buy gold to worship the God of Wealth with a hope of a prosperous year ahead.”
With gold prices peaking this year, many people were only buying small items, but they still hope their purchases will bring a big slice of luck.
Accountant Đào Hương Giang said: “I want to buy a small amount of gold to bring me luck at the beginning of the year and wish my work can go smoothly for the whole year.”
The local gold price was quoted at VNĐ56 million per tael on Sunday, VNĐ6.5 million higher than international benchmark which was at around US$1,784 per ounce (equivalent to over VNĐ49.5 million per tael). — VNS