Friday, February 08, 2008

New Year Flower Market: a Photo essay by Madame B

All of the plants sold at this special flower market have a symbolic meaning to Chinese people during New Year. Orchids are popular, long lasting and ridiculously inexpensive. A large pot filled with five to six plants is only 350 RMB or about $45 U.S dollars. You couldn't even by a single potted orchid for that price at the flower shop I worked at in Chicago. Did I mention, they deliver? For free? On a holiday?

These crazy things are called "Five Generation Plants" and for Chinese people they symbolize the whole family gathered together to celebrate the New Year.

I'm guessing they are a type of squash, but I'm hoping Steve is reading and can give us a more scientific answer...

I bought one of these funny little trees for our kitchen. Aren't they strangely wonderful? I wish I'd had one for Christmas time.

The crowds were out in full force taking advantage of the discounted prices, kind of like buying your Christmas tree on December 24th. Everyone was hoisting their flowers above their heads and pushing along chatting, eating and generally getting in the festive spirit.

These plum blossom trees are a big part of the New Year celebration. They symbolize love and fertility. Sadly, because of the unusually cold winter this year, many of the trees didn't bloom very well. You could tell a lot of the plum tree sellers were having a very glum New Year and were parting with these big branches for only a third of their usual price.

This balloon salesman was doing very brisk business with the kids however. He had some great balloons in the shape of cherries and apples- I'm kicking myself for not getting a close up!

Notice all the red garments...thought to bring good luck and fortune. Everything is red and gold at this time of year.

Siran and Eric put on a brave face while we waited for LiLi to bring back some roasted garlic oysters from a street vendor. They were good sports while us girls looked and bargained.

Yours truly, signing off. Happy New Year!


Brandon Till said...

Are you at some kind of touristy place in these photos? There seem to be a lot of Asian people there.

Anonymous said...





Steve said...

Squash is a good guess. If you cut one open I would have a better chance of identifying it. The only other thing that came to mind was Buddha's hand citron (search for a picture, it is crazy), but you would probably be able to tell if it was citrus by the skin/smell.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...