RSS Beijing:


Updated: 2012-03-19 13:19


Huazhaojie (Chinese: 花朝节),or the Festival of the Flowers, is a dying Chinese custom that can be traced back to antiquity. Traditionally, it is held on every second day of February in the Chinese lunar calendar in celebration of the birthday of the flowers. As the climate varies in the vast Chinese land, people would hold celebrations on the twelfth or fifth day of February.

Traditionally, people would gather around the outskirts and admire the flowers in full blossom. Girls would attach paper of all colors to the flowering branches.

According to ancient beliefs, flowers controlled the reproduction of the humankind. Due to the primitive lifestyle and agriculture-dominated economy, people held that the more people a family has, the merrier. Thus an affection and veneration of followers generated.

Back in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), celebrities were limited within the writers and poets, who were much more educated and literate. Wu Zetian, or Empress of the Zhou Dynasty (690-705), would order her servants to collect various flowers and make flower cakes by grinding them with rice. Then she would share them with government officials as a showcase of generosity and kindness.

In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the festivities expanded to the ordinary people and new contents were included, such as flower plantation, wild vegetables collection and god-worshipping activities.

For no apparent reasons, the custom gradually disappeared and now becomes a moribund tradition in China. In Xinzhou District, Hubei province, the custom has continued for over 800 years, but the contents have changed completely, at least less poetic. It has become a platform for commercial exchanges, where people buy and sell all kinds of commodities.

By Xu Xinlei

Operatic dream blossoms

Tan Dun's love of traditional Chinese culture, especially gardens and Kunqu Opera, has been constant.

Eat the right food for each meal on Xiaohan

Xiaohan is the 23rd solar term, literally means "Slight Cold". It indicates the weather starts to enter the coldest days.

The price of love

Why not rent a boyfriend, or girlfriend to please parents during the Spring Festival?