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Flower Fairs in Guangzhou
When the Spring Festival approaches, the streets and fairs in Guangzhou bustle with people shopping and florists from suburban areas setting up temporary shacks for the flower fair.
Guangzhou is known for its flower fair held annually during the Spring Festival. The origin of flower fairs can be traced back 500 years. From then on, flower fairs were held in Guangzhou during the Spring Festival every year. There is an old saying there, "No flower fairs, no Spring Festival."
The fair in the center of the city is one of Guangzhou's six major flower fairs. The streets are decorated with fragrant and beautiful fresh flowers, golden tangerines, and elegant miniature landscapes, looking like rivers of flowers in the distance.
The flower fair usually starts three days before the Spring Festival. The New Year's Eve is the climax of flower market, when huge crowds of people surge to the street. It is customary for most of the families to visit the fair after the reunion dinner on the New Year's Eve and buy a potted tree with tangerines hanging on it. The tangerine symbolizes good luck and wealth to the local people and the chrysanthemum symbolizes longevity.
Whether it is a "money" tree, cherry blossoms, or sweet olive plumes, plants and flowers all signify the blossoming of the New Year. This is an area of strong visual impact and cultural significance for the visitors. In the fair, there will be traditional Chinese performances, face painters, painting and calligraphers.
Three of the most significant flowers are described below.
1 Peach Blossoms
Blossoms are particularly auspicious flowers. Coming as they do in spring they symbolize life, growth and prosperity. The peach blossom is the most auspicious of all plants, its significance lying in the symbolic importance of the peach. The peach, in Chinese culture, is a symbol of long life, and is regarded as the strongest defence against evil. Should your peach blossom bloom during the New Year celebrations it is sure sign that the year ahead will be one of good fortune. Sprays of peach blossom at one time they were placed above front doors to prevent even the strongest evil spirit from getting into the house. The custom today is to use them as decorations within the house.
2 Kumquat Tree
This is a play on word. In Chinese the kumquat is called "jin qian ju". The word "jin" rhymes with the Chinese word for gold, "qian" means money and the word "ju" rhymes with the Chinese word for luck. The tiny green leaves of this plant symbolize wealth as the word "lu" (green) rhymes with the Chinese word for wealth. Finally the shape of the small oranges are a symbol of unity and perfection.
The peony is called the "flower of riches and honor" in Chinese, and is the emblem of love and affection, as well as being a symbol for feminine beauty. The bright red peony is particularly auspicious, bringing with it luck and good fortune.
From: Visit Our China
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