Over the course of 2,000 years, Guangzhou has blossomed in more ways than one.
During China’s Ming and Qing dynasties, imperial gardens became symbols of elegance and refinement. With its world-famous gardens, Guangzhou — nicknamed the City of Flowers for a reason — blooms brightest in the run-up to the Lunar New Year. In the days preceding official festivities (which this year run from January 24 to 30), Guangzhou’s floral markets spring to life.
Covering more than 40,000sq.m, Lingnan Flower Market is the region’s largest and busiest market. Organized according to type of flower for easier navigation, this is a spectacular site for those wishing to understand the importance of plants in local customs to mark the beginning of Lunar New Year celebrations. Equally impressive is the flower market at Yuntai Garden on Baiyun Mountain. Spanning 120,000sq.m., China’s largest landscaped garden is renowned for its awe-inspiring assemblage of rare and beautiful blooms. Hundreds of thousands of tulips take center stage during the fair, while visitors are treated to idyllic lakes, stone carvings and Roman-inspired architecture.
With more than a century of history behind it, Xihu Flower Market in Yuexiu District is said to be Guangzhou’s longest-running fair of its kind. It is best known for its eminently Instagrammable archway entry, whose illuminated lanterns make for an unforgettable selfie opportunity. Look for Cantonese flower baskets, in which real and faux blossoms are combined to dramatic effect.
Keep the home decor on theme with varieties of flora that carry connotations for the Lunar New Year.
- Kumquats, mandarins and tangerines are all symbols of prosperity and happiness.
- Orchids evoke fertility, abundance and purity.
- Peach blossoms signify romance, longevity and prosperity.
- Peonies — in particular red ones — are associated with feminine beauty, innocence and charm.
- Pussy willows welcome spring with their fluffy blossoms that embody new life and wealth.