Flower Exchange Festival

Flower Exchange Festival


Today’s Flower Exchange Festival originated in the custom of exchanging incense sticks for Lantern Festival. At that time, Fucheng was the headquarters of the Hainan government, and the Lantern Festival was celebrated there every year, brightening the night with colorful hanging lanterns. Young men and women, children and the elderly all thronged to see the lanterns.

In the beginning, there were no street lights, and many people carried lit scented candles or sticks of incense to light their way, and would generously give a few to anyone they met. When they saw a friend, the two might joyfully exchange candles or incense, and wish each other well. It was from this custom that a unique style of greeting arose in Hainan.

Later, after electric street lights became common, people began to exchange flowers in friendly greeting 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.

Recommended destinations: Haikou Fucheng Xiuyifang Street

Dates: Chinese New Year

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