There is no doubt that the Spring Festival, which is also called Chinese New Year, is the most significant traditional festival in China. In order to celebrate Chinese New Year, what do people in Guangzhou do?
As the Chinese saying goes, only after visiting the Flower Market can you have a nice Spring Festival. In Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, visiting the Flower Market (also known as Flower Street) of lunar New Year with family or friends is regarded as a traditional activity for Cantonese to ring out the old year and celebrate the coming year. Located in the subtropical zone where the climate is warm and humid, the city of Guangzhou is well-known as “the city of flowers”. There is a long history for Cantonese people to cultivate their enthusiasm for flowers, which dates back to the Han Dynasty. People in Guangzhou grow flowers, love flowers, appreciate flowers and present pretty flowers mutually to express their New Year blessings.
The entrance of the Flower Market in Huangpu District
Foreigners taking a photo in the Flower Market
Opening in 1860s, the annual Flower Market, which lasts as long as a week, has become more and more popular and prosperous recently with the development of the commercial economy. During the fair, not only can people relax after working for a whole year, but also they can touch the spirit of the Spring Festival by buying snacks, Chinese scrolls and various kinds of flowers and plants, which serves as the most exciting part of the fair.
What kinds of flowers and plants do people prefer? Generally speaking, those flowers with auspicious names are mostly favored, such as peach blossom, butterfly orchid, narcissus, kumquat and so on. For example, peach blossom is believed to own the magic that helps businessmen to realize their ambition and brings good luck to young people when finding their loved ones. Narcissus is considered as the flower that brings fortune while kumquat, having a similar pronunciation to the Chinese character “Ji”, symbolizes auspiciousness and affluence. Roaming in the world of flowers, surrounding by different kinds of flowers, enjoying the festive atmosphere and expecting a new and happy year, people always spend a pleasurable afternoon without realizing the time.
A little girl being attracted by the butterfly orchid
The kumquat with auspicious meaning
All in all, the Flower Market of Chinese New Year is a traditional aspect of the culture of the Han Dynasty and a carnival of Guangdong province, contributing to a unique folk landscape in South China, especially in the city of flowers --Guangzhou.