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Flower of the City: Peonies

2013-08-27 15:54:41     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Duan


It has been a tradition for more than two millennia to plant peonies in China. The peony culture has become a distinctive component of Chinese culture. Legend has it that the peony, unafraid of the edict of Empress Wu Zetian to bloom in winter, was demoted to Luoyang. The local people of Luoyang cherish this characteristic of the peony by defying power and believe it gives the flower a special essence. Famous literati Ouyang Xiu composed the earliest book featuring peonies ever discovered in China, which is a combination of all the elements related to the flowers during the past centuries.

Luoyang has kept a tradition of holding a flower fair celebrating peonies, which are regarded as the flower of the city. There is a saying that goes, "It is time to appreciate peonies around the solar term of the Grain Rain[?Should this be capitalized?]." The Luoyang Peony Flowers Festival[?Or is it just called the Luoyang Peony Festival?} is held annually between April 10 and 25 when every corner of the city is decorated with blossoming peonies and the locals are always happy to introduce the unique festival to visitors. When the flowers are in full bloom, the entire city of Luoyang is permeated with their light and fresh fragrance. Tourists from both home and abroad come to enjoy the special event, while the locals also celebrate it in a festive mood.

As a matter of fact, the Peony Flowers Festival[?Or just Peony Festival?] has indeed become a traditional festival for each citizen of Luoyang, because it has no fewer activities or events compared to other traditional festivals such as the Spring Festival. Aside from the beauty of the flowers, visitors also can enjoy a light show at night, go to a temple fair or take a closer look at peony culture, such as readings about peonies, peony-themed concerts, poems about peonies, peony flower arranging and peony bonsai art exhibitions.
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