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Feature: Macao welcomes Year of Dragon with blooming market

Pub Date:24-02-07 10:18 Source:Xinhua

by Xinhua writers Guo Yuqi, Li Hanfang

MACAO, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- As one navigates the roads of Macao's Coloane, meandering through winding paths, an arch-shaped valley awaits, adorned with a sea of pink peach blossoms.

The hidden gem, known as "Pui Kei Garden," has been flourishing for over fifty years and was the largest peach blossom farm in Macao. It is managed by Wong Jin Man, or "Flower Granny" called by customers, and her husband.

Wong conducts business once a year, only during the Chinese Lunar New Year. The rest of the time she cultivates the trees. A peach tree, growing for three to five years, can reach nearly three meters high. Many trees in the orchard already bear labels, meaning that they are sold. She said that government offices, shopping malls, and restaurants are regular customers.

"This one looks stunning! I'll take it." Sister Xia, whom a Macao local called herself, selected a peach tree towering over herself. She explained "In my family's tradition, we decorate our homes with flowers during the Chinese New Year. Every year, we adorn our house with peach blossoms so that we have a festive atmosphere." Sister Xia believed that fresh flowers bring good luck.

Despite occasional jokes about the laborious nature of the job, Wong treated the 200-plus peach trees in the valley as treasures.

The couple, in their 60s and 70s, had supported their three children through adulthood by running the farm. Although they contemplated retirement, the earnest requests from old customers kept them going. "Peach blossoms symbolize prosperity. Everyone wants to decorate with them for the New Year, and they made me continue," Wong said.

The Lunar New Year ambiance in Macao extended beyond the peach farm. Streets were filled with the hustle and bustle of New Year's goods. People went shopping in traditional marketplaces like Rua da Emenda, creating a lively Lunar New Year atmosphere for both residents and tourists.

Ms. Ma had been running a flower shop at Rua da Emenda for over 20 years, specializing in orchids, chrysanthemums, and narcissus. She told Xinhua that orchids were popular in Macao due to their long blooming period. "We start selling flowers for the Spring Festival in January, and it goes on for about a month."

Traditional Lunar New Year goods such as Spring Festival scrolls, "Fu" character stickers, dried fruits, and candies were in abundance at Rua da Emenda's New Year market. Shopkeepers were busy introducing, packing, and weighing products for their customers.

Ms. Liu, a customer purchasing items at a stall, told Xinhua that roughly half a week before the Spring Festival, she began buying fruits, nuts, candies, and other New Year goods. "I spend around two to three thousand yuan (280 to 420 U.S. dollars) on New Year shopping. Every year is joyful and lively," she said.

To usher in the New Year, Macao's Municipal Affairs Bureau organized the 2024 Lunar New Year market at Tap Seac Square. Running Feb. 2-10, the market featured 20 stalls selling festive gifts, six stalls selling New Year flowers, and four stalls offering snacks.

As joyful music filled the air, blending with the conversations of people in the market, Macao resonated with the traditional spirit of the Chinese New Year.

Amidst the fusion of Chinese and Western cultures that define Macao, the city embraced the Lunar New Year with almost the most traditional touch, and people in the city were eagerly waiting for the Year of the Dragon. 

Editor:Qin Shuying

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