In recent years, the time immediately following Tet has been very lucrative for
A fortuneteller at work
After Tet, fortunetellers have been working all day and even late into the night
in order to serve the increased numbers of customers, usually young women who
are single or are having trouble conceiving children.
Many customers are willing to wait for hours, with some coming early in the
morning and waiting well into the evening for their turns. Some will even sell
their place in line to less patient customers for thousands of VND. A number of
people hope that fortunetellers could predict their unlucky things so that they
can avoid them.
Vu Dinh Chung, 27, speaking about the fortuneteller he was referred to, said,
“Many people said this fortuneteller is very accurate. I had to travel dozens of
kilometres to get here and then wait for more than two hours for my turn. Some
people choose to pay VND10,000-50,000 for a few minutes, but I’d rather have the
fortuneteller spend a few hours with me, so I was willing to pay VND500,000. In
the end I was a bit disappointed because he only gave me general predictions
like all the other fortunetellers I’ve seen. He told me that if I wanted to
avoid bad luck I would have to spend millions.”
Customers trouble themselves
Most questions at one famous fortuneteller’s home in Thai Binh Province’s Kien
Xuong District, were about their jobs and marriage in the new year.
One of the most popular questions for young women was, “When will I get married
and what will my future husband be like?”.
Many have come to see fortunetellers as something akin to professional actors,
who learn certain lines and can repeat them with conviction. These are the most
Mrs. Bui Thi Thu, 54 years old, a neighbour of a fortuneteller said, “He told my
daughter that she would get married at the end of 2012, but she remains single.
I went to see him again, and have just heard him repeat the same things he said
to my daughter to another customer. Local people do not trust him, it’s mostly
people from other places who come to see him.”
Many fortunetellers ask their relatives to promote their prestige so that they
become more well-known.
A fortuneteller at work
Ms. Loan, who went to a fortuneteller in Kien Xuong District, said, “Even though
he was not completely off, I later found out that my neighbour, who recommended
him, was actually his younger sister.”
With fortunetellers more money equals more time. Mrs. Tu, of Thai Binh Province,
said that she spent VND1 million (USD47.6) for her fortuneteller to spend the
morning with her, making other customers jealous.
Afterwards she admitted that the money she spent was a waste, and only caused
her more worries. She has decided that the ‘craft’ is actually a con and will