p>This year, Luoyang City’s annual celebration of the peony is being held April 10-16. Each year, the televised festivities attract Chinese celebrities, national and foreign dignitaries and thousands of curious sightseers. The peony is native to many regions of Asia, western North America and southern Europe, but in China, Luoyang is considered the peony capital.
Peony Capital of China
Luoyang, Henan’s second largest city after its capital, Zhengzhou, is renowned for its many peony beds where the famed flower has been cultivated for centuries. The peony, one of the national emblems of China, is known as the “King of the Flower Kingdom”. The festival exhibits display not only Chinese peonies, of which more than 600 were propagated in Luoyang, but also peonies from many other countries.
The China 2009 World Stamp Exhibition will display more than 3000 different stamps and host philatelists from around the world. Rare and precious stamps, new and old, with both competitive and non-competitive frames will be available for viewing.
The exhibition logo of the stamp exhibit is more than just a pretty face. Outlines of seven pigeons depict a peony in full blossom flying over the Old City Tower of Luoyang on a background of blue. The pigeons represent peace and development as they fly to other cities and countries, spreading the news of this exhibit. The multi-hued blue symbolizes an harmonious future.
Tourist Sites — More Than Tang Dynasty Relics, and Buddhist Temples
Famous as one of four capital cities of ancient China, Luoyang was also a governmental center for thirteen dynasties. One of the starting points on the Silk Road, Luoyang lures travelers with many not-to-be-missed sights.
- The Longmen Grottoes – a United Nations World Heritage Site with thousands of ancient Buddhist images carved in the sides of the mountains
- White Horse Temple – site of the first Buddhist temple in China
- Museum of Ancient Tombs – final resting place of the Northern Wei Dynasty Emporers
- Six Horse Museum – burial pits of Eastern Zhou dynasty emperor’s horses and carriages
- Record-setting musical fountain in the Convention and Exhibition Center Lake
- Luoyang Museum – housing more than 1500 cultural relics of the Tang Dynasty including many bronze wares and tri-color glazed pottery
- Countless other lesser-known but fascinating remnants of past glories
Tourism is not the only trade in this ancient city. Heavily industrialized, modern Luoyang’s primary source of income comes from factories such as YTO, the giant tractor company, and numerous ball-bearing plants.
This year, the annual Peony Festival held in Luoyang, Henan Province, provides a double pleasure, beautiful flowers and stamps. The China 2009 World Stamp Exhibition will be held at the same time. With thousands of flowers blooming right on schedule and thousands of stamps on display, daily programs provide a variety of entertainment and sightseeing for tourists and stamp lovers.