Guangzhou Spring Festival Flower Fair

Guangzhou, the capital and the most populous city of the province Guangdong in southern China is home to the famous Spring Festival Flower Fair held yearly. It is dubbed as the “flower city” because of its emphasis on having gardens and greenery.  During the festival, the streets are decorated with fragrant, colorful and beautiful fresh flowers, golden tangerines and miniature landscapes where people shop for flowers and gifts.

History of Guangzhou Flower Fair

The annual festive flower fair in Guangzhou originated 500 years ago to the Ming Dynasty. The forming of the festival is related to the city’s climate, history and culture. Guangzhou being subtropical, enjoys long days of sunshine and plenty of rainfalls, excellent for growing flowers. The large demand for flowers from the Guangzhou market lead to the formation of the festival for people to appreciate flowers, and the old saying “No flower fairs, no Spring Festival” had also evolved.

Photo credit: llee_wu (Flickr)
Photo credit: llee_wu (Flickr)

In 1920, the festival began to be held regularly. Nowadays, the annual flower fair is divided into 8 major markets all around the city of Guangzhou.

Flowers, Plants and their Symbols

It is a Chinese tradition to welcome spring with flowers. In Guangzhou, it is customary to visit the flower fair on the eve of Spring Festival and buy potted trees with hanging tangerines. Tangerine trees symbolize a fruitful marriage, goodwill, good luck and prosperity or wealth.

Photo credit: llee_wu (Flickr)
Photo credit: llee_wu (Flickr)

People also buy peonies for love, affection and feminine beauty. Peony which was China’s National Flower in 1903, also symbolizes honor, wealth and aristocracy, hence known as “king of flowers.”

Other plants and flowers that people buy include – peach blossoms for romance, longevity and considered as the strongest defense against evil; lettuce for wealth generation and chrysanthemums for long life.

Photo credit: llee_wu (Flickr)
Photo credit: llee_wu (Flickr)

On the contrary, if one comes back home from the fair empty-handed, that would mean a year of unhappiness.

17 thoughts on “Guangzhou Spring Festival Flower Fair”

  1. Those flowers are lovely! Your photos made them look more attractive. This is an interesting festival for me. But I have yet to see our very own Panagbenga Flower Festival in Baguio. 🙂 I should start there first.

  2. I love flowers! I’m still like a little girl too giddy to have my pictures taken with garden of full blooms. I’m about to ask though how to go about Guangzhou. I hope you can share your experience more on that coz I’m interested to visit China. 🙂

  3. Oh, this post reminded me of the times I went to Guangzhou on business. I think I have been there over five times, in all four seasons. Yes, the festival is nice and seeing the flowers, actually mostly in the center of the city, does make it appealing in an otherwise old city.

  4. I love seeing flowers! They’re really special and they make you appreciate the world more too. It’s awesome that they have a Spring festival like this every year! So cool!

  5. Beaitiful story post! This is what I always say to my friends going to China. Forget about Shanghai, better visit Guangzhou coz its the best.

  6. This certainly makes me look forward more to our trip to Hong Kong, which is near Guangzhou! I hope we get a chance to go there even for just a half day tour. The flowers look so beautiful, btw.

  7. We visited Guangzhou overnight a few months ago on our way to Bali. We took a walking tour that included a meal and a boat ride. It was a nice trip.

Leave a Reply