Vietnamese Water Melon Legend

Exotic fruits are common things in tropical countries. Many have found their way to supermarkets and hypermarkets across the world and are available all year around. In Vietnam, seasonal fruit is enjoyed while they are there and then forgotten when something else comes into season. One such fruit that you are likely to come across during a Vietnam holiday is the water melon. They are the size of footballs, often weighing as much as 10 kilos and as you enjoy your Vietnam travel package water melons are a refreshing fruit often served to guests and enjoyed at the end of a meal.

vietnamese water melon legend

In Vietnam, they tend to have a story about everything and the water melon is no exception.
Kings expect to be obeyed. When the sixth son of King Hung Vuong disobeyed him, he was exiled. His name was An -Tiem and he had to build a shelter on the island that was to become his new home. It also involved his having to dig a well for his water and find sources of food; fishing and hunting were skills he had to develop.

One day, he found a huge green fruit and when he cut it in half, it revealed a red interior. Red is often associated with danger so he was worried that it was poison. As the days went by, the weather was hot and dry and any source of water dried up. An-Tiem decided to risk eating the red flesh in this huge green fruit and to his surprise and joy, it was both tasty and quenched his thirst. He decided to try to grow more of this fruit and found that it thrived. His island was suddenly full of this green fruit. He carved his name and that of the island on some of the fruit and threw them into the sea. Sailors found them and word soon spread. Merchants sought the way to this island mentioned on the green fruit. Suddenly, this deserted island became busy.

An-Tiem was only too happy for others to settle on the island and news soon reached the King about his son and the popularity of the island to which he had been exiled. King Hung Vuong felt pride in what his son had achieved by himself and invited him back to Court. He brought this green fruit with him as a gift for his father. His father abdicated in favour of An-Tiem who became Hung Vuong VI.

Since that time, the fruit is called ‘’dua hau’’ and is regarded as something that brings good luck. The result is it is a regular gift to family and friends, especially at times like New Year, Tet in Vietnamese.

You may not be able to grow water melons where you live if you don’t have the climate where An-Tiem lived on his desert island. However, if Vietnam gives you a love for the fruit while you travel in Vietnam, you should seek it out when you get home.