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Lunar New Year has dark side for Vietnam economy, say critics

Published on Jan 30, 2014 12:31 PM

HANOI (AFP) - Packed shops, traffic chaos and kumquat trees everywhere can only mean one thing in Hanoi: a new lunar year is approaching.

But not everybody is feeling festive.

Known locally as Tet, the celebration of the lunar new year is Vietnam's most important holiday and triggers a surge in consumption and travel ahead of an extended nationwide shutdown.

But this year, critics are arguing that the beloved, protracted Tet holiday is actually hurting the already fragile economy.

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