Wind Showers Bring March Flowers

The legend of Huazhaojie, the forgotten spring counterpart to the Mid-Autumn Festival

“Beyond the bamboo grove, several peach trees are in bloom/ The river is warming, which the ducks are first to know”—thus, a peaceful evening by the riverside in early spring rendered by the influential 11th century poet Su Shi.

Though Beijing’s spring is fleeting and much less subtle, as down jackets get traded for T-shirts within one weekend, the city’s various spring blossoms are still some of the most exciting sights of the metropolis.

In this fine springtime, we celebrate the Festival of Flowers, or Huazhaojie (花朝节, literally, “The Flower Morning Festival”) on the 15th day of the second lunar month (March 31 this year). In southern Chinese cities such as Suzhou, due to the warmer climate, it’s celebrated a few days earlier (the 2nd or 12th of the lunar month, depending on the region). A holiday associated with women and literati throughout history, Huazhaojie was once as important as the Mid-Autumn Festival, but has almost fallen into oblivion in modern times, only to be revived in recent years along with the Hanfu movement.

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author Liu Jue

Liu Jue is the co-managing editor of The World of Chinese Magazine. She has a Master of Arts in Communication from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Minzu University. She has been working for TWOC since 2012. She is interested in covering history, traditional culture, and Chinese language.

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