Spring Festival is just around the corner. Guangzhou, along with eight other cities, welcomed domestic Chinese and foreign visitors to Guangzhou to enjoy the holiday by running full front page new year invitations on leading newspapers.
Following a Guangzhou government initiative, Guangzhou Daily joined with major media in eight other cities —Beijing Morning Post, Shanghai Morning Post, Yangtse Evening Post in Nanjing, Harbin Daily, Xiaoxiang Morning Post in Changsha, Chengdu Evening Post, China Business View in Xi’an, and Daily News in Tianjin — to send out a welcome message on their January 3 edition. Eight Chinese characters appeared across the front pages of eight newspapers — 广州过年,花城看花 —welcoming everyone to Guangzhou for a flowery Spring Festival.
Silk Road Post will take a look at what is so alluring about Guangzhou during Spring Festival: flower blossoms in the winter, flower markets spread across the city, Cantonese dim sum, generally sunny weather and warm temperatures, unique Guangzhou scenery, and many entertainment venues.
Flowers and flower markets
Guangzhou has flowers all year around, a benefit from the subtropical marine monsoon climate, and thus is called the “Flower City.” Kapok flower is the flower of Guangzhou for its bright-red color and inspiring spirit. Bougainville and bauhinia are also favorites of Guanzghouers. The city is known for its flower markets during Spring Festival. A wide array of flowers and plants from home and abroad are available for purchase to decorate your home for the lunar New Year. Artistic shows are presented throughout the fair at each location for entertainment during your visit.
Li Shi — red packet
Guanzghouers like to receive red packets (or “li shi" in Cantonese or “Hong bao” in Mandarin) - red envelops filled with money - and offer well-wishes for the New Year to recipients, who might range from relatives to associates, even strangers, such as waiters or cleaners.
Cantonese dim sum
Dim sum is the heartbeat of Guangzhou cuisine. Its name translates literally as “to touch the heart”. As many as 150 of some 2,000 dishes are typically listed on a restaurant menu, such as steamed shrimp dumpling, shaomai, and pork pastry, to name a few. Dim sum consists of bite-sized delights consumed with tea for breakfast or lunch in what is called yum cha, which literally means “drinking tea”.
Sunny and warm weather
Guangzhou boasts sunny weather, warm temperatures and blue skies most of the year, including winter. Guangzhou government has paid great attention to environmental protection, improving air quality in the city to meet international air quality standards for nearly 310 days of 2016, according to a report by Guangzhou Environmental Protection Bureau.
Unique Guangzhou scenery
Guangzhou is a top metropolis in Southern China with a mixture of modern architecture that represents state-of-the-art technology and ancient relics from a long history.
Tianhe district is a perfect option for breath-taking modern scenes, especially Zhujiang New Town, where such cutting-edge architecture as the Guangzhou Library, Guangzhou Art Museum, and the new landmark of the city — Canton Tower, the "small waistline" of Guangzhou, which sits just across the river in Haizhu district. A trip on the Pearl River Night Cruise, to feel the night breeze of the river and enjoy the night scene is a great way to experience the scenic modern skyline of the city.
If you prefer time-honored cultural heritage, Yuexiu and Liwan districts will be a delight to see, with the delicate buildings that tell the long history of Guangzhou. Chen Clan Academy, Xiguan Mansion, and Qilou, the unique lingnan architecture are must-sees. Five Rams sculpture, erected on the top of Yuexiu Mountain fifty years ago, is a landmark which cannot be missed. .
Guangzhou also boasts many entertainment venues. Guangzhou Zoo and Xiangjiang Safari Park are well known for a myriad of wildlife and fauna. Sunflower Garden in Panyu district and Vanilla World are wonderful spots for viewing flowers and plants, where you might be captivated by the sea of sunflowers and vanilla. If you want to experience exciting and challenging games, Chime-Long Paradise theme park, with its adrenaline-surging rides such as Diving Coaster, Super Bob, and the time honored Carousel for a more mellow experience, are available as well.
Ultimately, the most amazing part of Guangzhou is that it tops China‘s Human Development Index, which makes it the ideal place for living, according to a report released by the United Nations on December 1, 2016. (By Zoe Xu, Louis Berney)
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