The history and development of Luoyang Peony Culture Festival

Luoyang City, Henan Province, is the ancient capital of 13 dynasties in history. It is also the city with the earliest capital and the most dynasties in China. It is also the first historical and cultural city approved by the State Council. The reason why Luoyang enjoys a high reputation is that, first, it is the ancient capital of a thousand years, and second, it is famous for its peonies at home and abroad. Since ancient times, Luoyang has the best peonies in the world. Peony is a traditional flower in our country, which has a long history. It is also one of the ancient customs in Luoyang to watch peony.

Before 1949, the development of Luoyang Peony met with a bottleneck because of the influence of society, politics, history, war and other factors. In 1959, when Premier Zhou visited Luoyang for inspection, when he learned about the situation of Luoyang peony, he immediately gave instructions: “peony is our traditional famous flower, and it is the symbol of our country’s prosperity. We must rescue it as soon as possible.” Moreover, Premier Zhou pointed out that “Luoyang City will build a wide garden, vigorously plant peony, and promote the development of peony.” The next year, chairman Liu Shaoqi was investigating Luoyang City and said that it is necessary to regard the cultivation of peony as a “beautiful cause” and to continuously expand the variety of peony. Under the care of the leaders of the Party Central Committee, Luoyang Peony achieved rapid recovery and development. In Luoyang City, great efforts are made to plant peony flowers in Wangcheng Park and peony Park, expand new varieties of peony, and plant peony flowers in urban public green space. Due to the continuous development of economy, the continuous improvement of people’s life quality and the rapid development of tourism industry, Luoyang Peony tourism industry has achieved rapid development and progress.

In 1982, Luoyang Municipal Government passed a resolution to officially define peony as the city flower of Luoyang, and since 1983, the government has held peony flower exhibition from April 15 to May 15 every year. Luoyang Peony Flower Fair has achieved great success. After that, peony has become the tourism symbol and city sign of Luoyang City, which is conducive to the economic development and social progress of Luoyang City, and promotes the rapid development and improvement of related tourism industry. Luoyang Peony Fair is one of the important forms of Luoyang Tourism Industry, and in 2008 it officially became the intangible cultural heritage of our country. In 1994, peony was also the only candidate of Chinese flowers. Moreover, the Peony Fair has a very high popularity and social influence, and it has become one of the four major flower festivals in China. In April 2002, Luoyang peony was stimulated by preferential policies of origin, which greatly promoted the development and progress of peony industry. In 2005, Luoyang fully implemented the development plan of a strong tourism city, and according to the changes of solar terms and peony flowering and other natural factors, the annual peony flower fair activity time was increased to 30 days, combined with May Day golden week, and the annual flower fair time was set as April to the first ten days of May. Since 2007, the annual Luoyang Peony Fair has been extended to 40 days. The next year, Luoyang Shenzhou Peony Garden officially became the production base of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, providing 2000 pots of peonies for Beijing Olympic Games, greatly improving the social popularity and influence of Luoyang peony.

On September 21, 1982, the Standing Committee of Luoyang Municipal People’s Congress passed a resolution to regard peony as the “city flower” of Luoyang City. Every year, according to the opening of peony, Luoyang Peony Fair is held from April to May. In November 2010, it was officially approved by the Ministry of culture of the State Council to be upgraded to a national festival, renamed as “Luoyang Peony Culture Festival of China”. Since 1983 to now (2012), Luoyang has successfully held 30 consecutive peony fairs. From the 23rd peony flower fair in 2005, the period will be extended to one month for the first time. In the past 15 years, the number of tourists and tourism income of Luoyang Peony Flower Fair has increased year by year. The annual growth rate of tourism income is 23.25%, the total number of tourists is 214.26 million, and the total tourism income is more than 300 billion.

For more than 20 years, the municipal Party committee and the municipal government have adhered to the guiding ideology of “taking flowers as the medium, making friends widely, publicizing Luoyang, expanding the opening up”, and “setting up a platform in Luoyang, performing opera in the whole province”, and organized the peony flower fair into a large-scale comprehensive economic and cultural activity integrating flower appreciation, sightseeing, economic and trade cooperation and exchange. Luoyang Peony Fair has become a major event in the city’s political, economic and cultural life, an indispensable grand festival for the people of Luoyang, a platform for Luoyang’s economic development and a window to display the city’s image, a bridge for Luoyang to go to the world and a business card for the world to understand Luoyang. At the same time, it has also become an excellent platform and stage for enterprises to show their strength, establish their image and promote their fame.

At present, there are more than ten peony gardens in Luoyang, mainly including China Garden, Wangcheng Park, peony Park, Shenzhou peony Park and so on. Each peony garden has its own unique features; among them, the national garden of China is the largest peony garden with more than 1000 kinds of peony, 4 In the middle of the month, all the peonies are in full bloom; in the peony Park, there are the oldest peonies in Luoyang, and there are peony viewing gardens with comprehensive nature such as peony culture appreciation, leisure and entertainment; there is no definite flowering period in Shenzhou peony garden, which can be viewed all the year round, and the garden organically integrates the peony culture and viewing peonies, and builds characteristic buildings and art facilities. The interior of tulip garden is all European style architecture. The number of tulips and peonies in the garden is almost the same. It is also the largest, most complete and most numerous tulip viewing base in Central China. The peony garden in Luoyang City takes the peony as the theme, combines the diversified tourism resources such as characteristic culture, folk custom, painting and calligraphy culture, leisure and entertainment, peony industry, etc., and attracts thousands of tourists to come for sightseeing every year, which greatly promotes the development of tourism in Luoyang City.

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