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China Spring Flower Fair
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Time: 28th-30th of the 12th lunar month, which falls on February 2-4 in 2000.
Venue: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province

Origin: During the Qianlong and Jiaqing reigns of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), tea sales flourished, and the demand for flowers as ingredients for the making of flower tea snowballed, thereby providing a great impetus to flower cultivation in China. During the Xianfeng and Tongzhi reigns, flower fairs emerged in some cities. During the fairs the streets were lined with booths selling such flowers as water lily and lilac, which bloom in summer; osmanthus and nandina which come out in autumn and red maple; and magnolia and winter jasmine which come into full glory in late winter. Today, all these flowers can be seen at the Guangzhou Spring Flower Fair, which takes place on New Year¡¯s Eve. For Guangzhou residents the Flower Fair is part of Spring Festival celebrations.

What¡¯s On: Prior to the Spring Festival, farmers ship flowers into the city from suburbs, and lay them out in a number of streets. During the festival, local residents, old and young, take to the streets to see the flowers. When they return home they bring some of the flowers to decorate their houses. A journey down the flower-bedecked streets is like homecoming to nature.