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Flower festival blooms as tradition fully blossoms

Annual Huazhao event offers up examples of cultural experiences, Wang Xin reports.

By Wang Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-19 06:01

The Huazhao Festival at Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai is offering visitors an immersive spring tour through traditional Chinese culture. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Wowing visitors

As a landmark tourist attraction in Shanghai, Yuyuan Garden has been receiving large numbers of visitors, both domestic and foreign, throughout the year. With the Huazhao celebrations taking place, many were deeply impressed by traditional culture.

Wang Jing, a 30-year-old trade manager based in Beijing, was one. It was her first time in Shanghai and she came to Yuyuan to admire its architectural features.

"It is a total coincidence that I am here during the festival. Although I didn't know much about the Huazhao Festival before I came, I felt it is lively, and has a strong cultural atmosphere. I think young people will love it," she says.

Wang adds that she also enjoyed the mix of new Chinese style and traditional culture, like the wearing of new-styled hanfu and qipao (a style of dress), as well as appreciating ancient poetry with updated interpretations.

"I think many places in China are doing a wonderful job of cultural tourism. The new Chinese style is becoming more popular with young people. I love it and am happy to be part of it," says Wang, who plans to continue her trip through the Yangtze River Delta region.

A fan painted with lacquer. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Antonio Gangemi, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Bologna, was also visiting Shanghai for the first time.

There to discuss possible collaboration with companies in the medical and surgical field, Gangemi said that the Yuyuan Garden area was one of the most authentic places in the city. Like Wang, he knew little about the festival before visiting, but said that it was "a great and pleasant surprise" once he found it.

"It's a great opportunity for a foreigner to get to know better about Chinese culture. I really enjoyed it," says Gangemi.

"I did know some (about the traditional Chinese culture), but I have to be honest that most of the things that I knew about China were not accurate. However, my knowledge of China and Chinese culture had greatly improved and benefited from this visit. I do think I know much more now about China and about Shanghai."

The city, which Gangemi describes as "dynamic, friendly and innovative", has impressed him during his one-week business trip.

"Shanghai is a very dynamic city that has incredible potential to become a center of international importance in many different fields and aspects, not just commercially speaking. And I have the impression that China is making great investments in innovation, especially in the context of technology.

"I think we will be impressed by what China will be able to accomplish over the next years," he adds.

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