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Yuyuan Garden Malls offer range of treats for an auspicious festival
From:Shanghai Daily  |  2020-06-25 08:29

With the Dragon Boat Festival beginning today, residents and tourists are invited to experience Chinoiserie design andtraditional Chinese culture at theYuyuanGarden Malls.

Dining and shopping facilities near the historic garden, which originated from a prosperous market at the City God Temple about 140 years ago, will launch its firstimmersiveChinese culture temple fair to promote traditional art and skills.

Themed on the “Gods and Goddess of Flowers” who became popular in the mid-QingDynasty (1644-1911) through the famousYangliuqingNew Year Painting style, the fair will run through Saturday.

Time-honored eateries and brands inYuyuan, including LaomiaoGold & Jewelry and the Lu Bo Lang Restaurant, will offer discounts to help the economy after the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Ming (1368-1644) andQingdynasty architecture at the malls have been decorated with flowers and are illuminated by traditional lanterns at night.

The bazaars with many small carts selling and exhibiting handicraft artworks have also been redesigned with colorful petals and twigs.

In traditional Chinese culture, famous historical figures and literary giants are ennobled as gods or goddess of a certain flower. There are a dozen gods and goddess for the 12 lunar months, but the figures vary in different times and regions.

YangYuhuan(719-756), one of the four great beauties of ancient China, for instance, is deemed the goddess of the apricot flower which blooms in February, while XiShi, another beauty, is the goddess of lotus for June. Famous poets such as LiBai(701-762),BaiJuyi(772-846) and TaoYuanming(365-427) are also listed as gods of flowers in some versions due to their popular poems about flowers.

Performances based on Chinoiserie will be held every day during the holiday. They include a warrior show with soldiers wearing armor, dancers in traditionalhanfu clothing and concerts featuring traditional instruments on the iconic Zigzag Bridge or a small boat on the lake.

Security guards at the malls will be wearing the costumes of Ming Dynasty guards.

Visitors are invited to experience traditional lifestyles during the Dragon Boat Festival, such as tastingzongzi, traditional glutinous rice dumplings, and making perfume sachets to ward off evil spirits.

YuyuanGarden Malls launched its nightlife events in September last year, featuring lanterns, markets and shows to attract local citizens to the iconic landmark which is a magnet for tourists from outside Shanghai and abroad.

Over 2.17 million people have visited the malls since the city launched the Double Five Shopping Festival in May, saidHuJunjie, assistant president of YuyuanInc.