Food and Flower Festivals Brighten the Winter Days
China Daily, January 15, 2013
Shanghai has launched a host of outdoor activities in recent days to cheer people up during the recent spell of bitter winter weather.
Shanghai Guyi Garden in Jiading district, for instance, has unveiled its flower fair, featuring winter species such as narcissus, orchids, azaleas and wintersweet.
It is intended to provide entertainment for the Chinese New Year crowds and will stay open till the end of February.
The centerpiece of the fair is a flower arrangement made of twigs cut from a 270-year-old wintersweet tree planted in suburban Waigang.
Another eye-catcher is Chongming narcissus, one of Shanghai's representative flowers and a star exhibit at the 2011 Taiwan International Flower Expo.
In former times, people would cut narcissus and wintersweet and put them in a porcelain vase - which signified "saving a jar of warmth for winter" and was thought to be propitious.
Other highlights are flower-arranging artists who turn vegetables such as onions and kumquat into the likenesses of flowers.
Other parks with flower shows include Shanghai Botanical Garden, Chenshan Botanical Garden and Binjiang Forest Park.
In Jinshan district, however, the focus is on food rather than flowers. The 2013 Jinshan Strawberry Festival started on Jan 3 and people are encouraged to pick fresh strawberries.
A photography competition and strawberry culture promotions will be held throughout the festival.
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