Gia Lac market was founded in Minh Mang reign (1820-1840) by Dinh Vien Cong Nguyen Phuoc Binh – Emperor Gia Long’s fourth son. At first, it was confined inside his royal family for the exchange of good and entertainment. Later on, attracted by its activities, people and neighborhood also joined in the trade, enlivening it with popular amusements. Therefore, Gia Lac soon became a form of spring fair on occasions of Tet holidays.
Gia Lac Market in Hue – Photo Tuyet Khoa
The market is located on a crossroad close to Nam Pho village, forking in two directions, one toward Duong No, the other toward Ngoc Anh, 3km from the center of Hue in the direction of Vy Da. It lies 300 meters from the Perfume River. Across from it, on the other bank is the present – day Dinh market.
The goods for sale at Gia Lac market are of a great diversity, varying with the years: from household utensils, foods and drinks to children’s toy – a kind of flea market. Foodstuffs are of all kinds, in indispensable tidbit in the Tet holiday at Gai Lac market.
A market is also a place of entertainment in the three Tet days where take place such games and amusement as “Bai Choi” “Bai Ghe”. The market goers are dressed up in their best bit and tucker. The atmosphere exhilaratingly is cheerful without any scenes of noisy haggling or quarreling. The fair lasts for three Tet days, a fairly concentrated expression of Hue culture.