Jan 31, 2019

The Blooming Concrete Jungle Hong Kong’s Flower Markets: what you need to know

 

A concrete jungle packed with skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, Hong Kong has done a good job of keeping the greenery of the metropolis intact.

 

In fact, the culture is such that everyone makes sure to have some greenery or the other in their balconies and houses. While the rich are naturally the only ones able to afford enough open space to have a garden at home, flower markets offer options such as potted plants and orchid hybrids to adorn smaller houses and apartments too.

 

 

The markets on Flower Market road have had a greater impact on the city than many people realize. When it was established in the 1970s, it was a wholesale flower market, with up to 50 shops located in a rather compact space. Over the course of the next few decades, it became the tourist attraction that it is today.

 

The Chinese influence on the Hong Kong Flower Markets is clearly visible, and becomes even more significant as Chinese New Year approaches. The Markets participate in an annual tradition, the flower fair (known as the Lunar New Year Flower Fair). The fair usually begins a week before Chinese New Year. It kickstarts the New Year season and all its festivities, giving families the opportunity to shop together for flowers to gift their relatives and close ones. 

 

This year, the Lunar New Year Flower Fair will take place between January 30 and February 5.

 

Shopping in the Hong Kong Flower Markets has become one of the greatest traditions of the Hong Kong Chinese New Year celebrations. Due to high demand during this season, the markets stay open beyond their regular 7am to 7pm timings. They stay open late to meet last-minute demands for flowers.

 

If you visit the Lunar New Year Flower Fair, expect to see the charming sight of families shopping together for flowers. Chinese New Year is all about prosperity, peace and goodwill for the coming year, and whether or not people are traditionalists, the presence of ‘Lucky Plants’ for good Feng Shui is prioritised on New Year’s day. Lucky Plants can be seen everywhere, from houses to malls to shops to restaurants.

 

 

If you go to the markets, you’re likely to see flowers that aren't seen on a daily basis. While the markets always have a great variety of flowers, the Chinese New Year brings in more specific breeds of flowers. Some of these are auspicious flowering plants, including Moth Orchid (for blessings and good luck), Nipplefruit (for family safety), Lucky Bamboo (for career promotion and good luck), Golden Mandarin Tree (for wealth), Peach Blossom (for good relationships) and Narcissus (for infinite happiness).

 

Apart from endless flower stalls, the boom in visitors has seen the establishment of restaurants, gift shops and a lot more in the vicinity of the markets. 

 

Where are these famous flower markets?

 

The most popular Flower Markets are the one located in Victoria Park, in the heart of Central, and the Mongkok Flower Market, located on Flower Market road.

 

In addition to the Mongkok Flower Market, there’s a number of other interesting markets in the Kowloon area, which include the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden, the Ladies’ Market and the Goldfish Market. If you’re planning to visit the Markets to buy flowers, plants or anything else, make sure you’re all ready to use your bargaining abilities. 

 

 

The flower markets, the ‘lucky plants’ and all the stalls represent more than just a tourist area. It represents heavy influence from the Chinese culture that’s been slowly filtering into Hong Kong culture as well. It’s one of those things that organically become a part of the city culture, and people from across the city travel to these markets to see the marvellous flower displays and to purchase flowers and plants.

 

Whether it’s for Chinese New Year or any other time of the year, the flower markets have played a role in almost every household. Chances are, when you see greenery at a house or commercial building, large or small, the fragrant flora is from these very flower markets!

 

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