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We visited the Chinese New Year evening flower market at Victoria Park 维园年宵花市 in Hong Kong.  This type of market or fair is an annual tradition in Southern China – 行年宵.  I remember lugging a peach blossom tree home with my Dad many years ago at such a market.  The practice is similar to the Christmas tree tradition except these peach blossom tree has no leaves except flower buds.  Red ribbons and packets are hung from the tree.  If the timing is done right, pink flowers emerge on New Year’s day and continue for a week or so.

Families buy the plants for decoration at home, a week or so before Chinese New Year. There are several traditional plants that are required items for a proper CNY decoration: peach blossom tree (above), four season kumquat shrubs (below), and Chinese daffodil 水仙花 (Narcissus tazetta, top picture).

More Chinese daffodils 水仙花.

The bulbs of daffodil are often carved so that the leaves and flowers grow into fanciful shapes – crab claws 蟹爪水仙.  I have seen these daffodils with short stems before but don’t see any resemblance to crab claws.  The white stuff in the middle is wet cotton wool.

Orchids are not traditional flowers for the new year.  But I saw a lot of them in the market.  Also common is the plum blossom tree.

I do not remember this type of orange-colored fruit being a traditional CNY plant – don’t even know its name. The outside has a nectarine-like texture but there are one or more protrusions from its round body.  Odd looking fruits, if you ask me.

The green towers were made with mini fortune bamboos 富貴竹, lots of them. By the way, fortune bamboo is not related to bamboo but a kind of dracaena plant (Dracaena sanderiana) originally from Africa.


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