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Vietnam's Hottest Tet Gift: Lucky Buddha Pears

Forget hoverboards and lightsabers: Vietnam's hottest gift this holiday season is the nature-defying Buddha-shaped pear.

Thanks to Chinese farmer Gao Xianzhang, who devoted six years of his life to mastering the pear-growing technique, these lucky fruits are flying off the shelves, reports the South China Morning Post. A Chinese myth about lucky, Buddha-shaped fruits inspired Xianzhang to grow the pears, which he achieved by fixing plastic molds to each fruit as it grew, forcing the pear to conform to its Buddha-shaped container.

As it turns out, Vietnamese consumers are also buying up these lucky fruits in droves. Each pear goes for roughly ¥50 (VND169,000) in China and can last up to three months (thanks, preservatives!). Customers abroad can purchase the fruits online and have them shipped abroad.

Baby-shaped pears are also available, if you're into that sort of thing.

Xianzhang, whose pears first appeared on the market in 2009, had to endure his fair share of teasing when he first developed the Buddha-shaped pears. His friends were skeptical about putting so much effort into such an unusual project, but now the farmer is laughing all the way to the bank.

“People called me crazy. They said I was whimsical and it was impossible to grow baby-shaped fruits,” the farmer told the South China Morning Post. “They told me to stop wasting my time and money.”

Turns out Xianzhang had the right idea.

[Photo via Fast Co.Design]

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