Flower Exchange Festival
Hainan's Flower Exchange Festival originated from the custom of exchanging incense sticks during Lantern Festival when the night is decorated with colorful hanging lanterns.
Young men, women, children, and the elderly all thronged to see the lanterns, carrying lit scented candles or sticks of incense in their hands to light the way. When they saw a friend, the two might joyfully exchange what they have, and wish each other good luck for the coming year. It was from this custom that a unique style of greeting arose in Hainan.
After the popularity of electric street lights, people began to use flowers instead, eliminating the risk of being burnt by candle flame. Fresh flowers or green branches are now exchanged in the street every year during the Flower Exchange Festival.
Roses are the most common flowers traded during the day. Some people wear fanciful and colorful face masks. Held in Qiongshan, the festival focuses on friendship, wellness, and happiness. In addition to exchanging flowers, people will put on lion dances and parades, as well as hang traditional lanterns across the city.
Dates: 15th day of the 1st lunar month
Recommended destination: Zhongshan Road, Qiongshan District, Haikou
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