China: Blossom festival held in Heze, hometown of peonies

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As peonies bloom in abundance, tourists from home and abroad have been flocking to Heze in East China’s Shan-dong Province, the hometown of peonies, for a special event. The 2024 International Peony Cultural Tourism Festival opened in the city with an additional satellite venue in Shimane, Japan. This kind of flower has served as a cultural ambassador, fostering exchanges between the two countries since it was first introduced to Japan during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

Established during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Caozhou Peony Garden is home to more than 100 century-old peonies and has witnessed the vicissitudes and splendor of this land. Encompassing more than 300 varieties, the garden shines with a mix of classic domestic breeds and rare imports, while newly cultivated varieties with fragrances add a delightful touch.

In traditional Chinese culture, peonies often symbolize wealth, honor, prosperity, and happiness, painting a picture of luxuriousness and magnificence.

“Compared with flower culture elsewhere in the world, Chinese flower culture has a typical aesthetic tendency and traditional psychology surrounding the ‘imagery’ of flowers. Flowers and trees are closely linked to the ideological, value, moral, and aesthetic standards of Chinese people. The spirit of traditional Chinese literature and the simple concept of ‘harmony between man and nature’ are also reflected in the cultivation, appreciation, and artistic expression of flowers,” said Han Fei, an associate professor at the Communication University of China.


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