It is not without reason that Guangzhou has been given the name ‘Flower City’. The city’s emphasis on building beautiful gardens, and promoting greenery everywhere, is well known.
The Spring Festival flower fair which is held in Guangzhou every year attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The exhibition of nature in this part of the world is legendary. During the festival, the streets of the city are adorned with fragrant and beautiful flowers and golden tangerines. It is quite the sight to behold.
The flower fairs are a local favourite in China. Among Cantonese people in Guangdong and Hong Kong, there is an old saying: “No flower fairs, no Spring Festival”. Even before the Spring Festival arrives in China, there is excitement in the air for the flower fairs usually start at least three days before the Spring Festival.
In Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau, there is a tradition that involves giving away fresh flowers, potted plants, and bouquets on the first day of the Chinese New Year. A lot of importance is attached to this custom, and the various kinds of flowers given as gifts denote different wishes or signs.
For instance, peonies symbolise prosperity, and peach blossoms symbolise romance and longevity.
All florists witness a scramble for flowers during the Chinese New Year. Some flower stalls and shops will stay open very late and even to early morning hours on the day of the Guangzhou Spring Festival. Kumquat plants are also bought in large number during this festival. Resembling small tangerines, kumquats are particularly popular because in Cantonese ‘kum’ means gold. Other golden fruit and flowers are also popular buys to decorate homes.
All in all, the Guangzhou Spring Festival is a time of beauty and freshness, with all the pretty flowers around. Make sure you enjoy yourself during this Springtime festival!
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