For those who decide to celebrate the Spring Festival here in Zhejiang, prepare to be amazed by the sea of plum blossoms. On Jan 29th, the 13th Hangzhou Chaoshan Plum Blossom Festival was inaugurated via a virtual ceremony. The festival consists of multiple offline cultural and tourist activities as well as more than 20 live streams, making the plum blossom an attraction for the upcoming Spring Festival holiday.
The Plum Blossom Festival will run until the end of March, during which the plum blossom naturally plays the lead. Inside the Chaoshan Scenic Area, wintersweet and other varieties are blooming one after another while giving off gentle and elegant scent. The best timing for appreciating the beauty comes after February, the Spring Begins in particular, when the flowers roll with the wind, stretch for miles, send white and pink petals to the air like dancing snowflakes. Here, visitors can learn about rare varieties of the plum blossom such as those popular in the Tang and Song Dynasties, and a special kind with six petals. They can also get a grasp on the art of Chinese seal carving and its cultural connotation at the Wu Changshuo Memorial Hall. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids to a learning activity called “A Fantastic Journey to the Plum Forest”, which allows them to revisit the ancient paths and flowers, and review the cultural implication of the plum blossom, which, as ancient as it is, has never lost its vitality.
The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and a special route is designed for the special occasion. Titled “Party Building and Uprightness”, the route enables participants to explore the profound cultural implication of the plum blossom, which echoes what has long been cherished by the Party, namely an honest and upright character. Apart from admiring the beauty of nature, participants can also take the opportunity to learn more about history, draw wisdom and strength from the remarkable journey taken on by the Party.
In addition, the Chaoshan Scenic Area has promoted routes for leisure trips along the Grand Canal. For example, visitors can take a replicate of antique ships, visit the thousand-year-old Tangqi Ancient Town, and get an eyeful of the splendid plum blossoms. During the Spring Festival, visitors can write down their new year messages and have the chance to take home a gift package through blind box drawing challenge.
Too bad you can’t go in person? Don’t worry. Thanks to the power of technology, this year’s Chaoshan Plum Blossom Festival includes a long list of online activities to choose from. To provide better experience for visitors, Chaoshan will work with Wuxi Plum Garden and Suzhou Dengwei Mountain to form a Yangtze River Delta Plum Blossom Alliance that brings together the best three places to appreciate the beauty of plum blossoms in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. During the Festival, the Alliance plans to organize an online painting contest paying tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Party. The winners will get their paintings displayed alongside the masterpieces of Huang Jiaming at a traditional Chinese painting exhibition. In the meantime, more than 20 live streams will be hosted, covering a wide variety of themes such as learning, cooking, culture and socializing, bringing immersive experience to those who cannot attend in person. In this way, plum blossoms are no longer confined within physical boundaries, but enter online spaces that allow more people to get involved and have fun.