China Daily

This Day, That Year


Item from Jan 23, 1982, in China Daily: The plastic flower counter at Beijing’s Wangfujing Department Store is crowded with eager customers shopping for Spring Festival decoration­s. …

To almost every Chinese family, preparing for the Spring Festival holiday is one of the most significan­t tasks of the whole year.

Cleaning the house, buying new clothes for family members, and making arrangemen­ts for the New Year’s Eve dinner are at the top of the to-do list. Home decoration is crucial, too.

Paper-cuttings, red lanterns, paintings with “fu”, which conveys great fortune and happiness, and flowers all play a key role in New Year celebratio­ns.

Such traditions are also widely followed in other Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

With the rapid developmen­t of China’s economy, and a steady rise in people’s disposable incomes, many families can now afford imported fresh flowers. Orchids and peonies are among the most popular.

Orchids have long been considered a symbol of fertility and abundance. They also signify refinement, luxury and innocence.

Peonies are associated with feminine beauty, innocence, affection, and charm. They are known as the flowers of riches and honor. Red peonies are considered particular­ly auspicious.

The Lunar New Year, or the Year of the Rooster, starts on Jan 28.

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