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Flower fairs heat up festive atmosphere
Latest Updated by 2007-02-14 09:44:08

The 26th Shenzhen Spring Festival Flower Fair opened on Aiguo Road in Luohu District yesterday, four days ahead of the beginning of the Year of the Pig.

Over 5,000 breeds of flowers, from expensive orchids to cheap chrysanthemums, were available at the 1,000-meter-long fair, giving off fragrance that spread to nearby streets. Red Spring Festival scrolls, pig-shaped paper cuts, and Chinese knots were hung on many stalls, enhancing the festive atmosphere.

The fair is the most popular and the oldest Spring Festival flower market in Shenzhen. Flower fairs have also opened in other districts.

There are a total of 1,031 stalls in the Aiguo Road fair, selling not only flowers, but also artifacts, jewelry, toys, decorations and calligraphic works.

Ye Jun, vice director general of Luohu District Urban Management Bureau, said over 1.2 million people are expected to visit the five-day fair, more than the number last year.

As yesterday was a weekday, the fair's visitors comprised mainly of senior citizens, children and tourists. Many families took pictures in front of the two pig statues at the entrance to the fair.

On Aiguo Road, the colorful flowers turned the fair into a big garden, and many visitors took pictures of the flowers, some of which are rarely seen in Shenzhen.

Richard Berkenroth, from California, was among the excited visitors.

It was his first trip to a flower market, and he said it was as "a totally new culture experience" for him. "I love the flowers, which make me feel the strong festive atmosphere here!" said Berkenroth, adding that he was deeply impressed by the market.

A senior citizen surnamed Wang said he visited the flower market every year. "It's a must-have for my Spring Festival," said Wang, while choosing a plant called Wudaitongtang, meaning "five generations in one house." The orange-shaped plant is particularly popular in Guangdong due to its propitious name -- several generations living together is traditionally regarded as auspicious for a Chinese family.

As yesterday was the day before Valentine's Day, the prices of roses jumped. The cheapest red rose was sold for three yuan (US$0.38). A salesgirl said the wholesale prices of roses had tripled. "They will become more expensive tomorrow," said the girl.

The revenue of the five-day market is expected to surpass 30 million yuan.

Flower markets have opened in other districts, too.

Futian District has a flower market at the crossing of No. 1 Fuzhong Road and Mintian Road from Feb. 11 to Feb. 17. The market's 650 stalls are selling flowers, spring scrolls and art, as well as food.

The Nanshan flower market, which opened Feb. 9 in Nanshan Flower World, has nearly 500 stalls. It is the biggest flower market ever in Nanshan.

Yantian flower market, which opened Feb. 12, is being held in the western part of Haijing Road No. 2 in Shatoujiao. Part of the road has been closed to form a 200-meter-long "flower street." An eight-year-old peach tree is being sold at the market for nearly 1,000 yuan.

Longgang flower market, located between Longcheng Square and Longgang Culture Center, is the biggest flower market in the city in terms of size, occupying 5,000 square meters. Prices of flowers at Longgang market are about 20-30 percent lower than those in downtown.

Bao'an flower market, which opened Feb. 12, is located on Xinghua Road 1. The market is over 400 meters long and is selling over 130 breeds.

All the flower markets will close at midnight Feb. 17, the eve of the Spring Festival.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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