Chinese Spring Festival, also called Lunar New Year, has more than 4,000 years of history. Being one of the traditional Chinese festivals, it is the grandest and the most important festival for Chinese people. It is also the time for the whole families to get together, which is similar with Christmas Day in the west. Originating during the Shang Dynasty (about 17th – 11th century BC), Spring Festival, which celebrates family reunion, is full of rich and colorful activities, and new hopes with the advent of spring and flowers blossoming. People from different regions and different ethnic groups celebrate it in their unique ways.
Visiting traditional flower markets is a must in the week prior to Chinese New Year. Flowers, traditional Chinese New Year snacks, decorations like chun lianand other items are for sale. These markets are where Chinese stock up on flowers, orange trees, snacks, and decorations for Chinese New Year.
In Hong Kong, children who are doing poorly in school are taken to walk around the flower market. Through the practice of Mai Lan, it is believed the children will no longer be lazy and work harder in the New Year. Flowers are bought to not only decorate the home but to help unmarried people find lovers or welcome prosperity in the New Year.
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