It's Chinese Valentine's Day! (Qixi Festival)

Hope blooms for China’s flower trade as rose prices soar to meet demand

Everything is coming up roses for the flower sellers of China’s southwestern province of Yunnan, where prices of the blooms have jumped more than 200 per cent in the past week – from 1 yuan (14 US cents) to 2.5 yuan each, and rising.

The surge, ahead of Tuesday’s Qixi Festival – also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day – has given heart to florists like Zhao Qianlan, 28, from the Dounan Flower Market in provincial capital Kunming, that business can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That could be good news. It means more people may be willing to buy flowers,” said Zhao, from Wenshan county in Yunnan.

The Qixi Festival promises to be the strongest season of the year so far for China’s flower industry which, like many others around the world, has been almost crushed by the pandemic since late January.

Cao Yang, a 46-year-old florist who has worked in Dounan Flower Market for eight years, said the experience of Valentine’s Day in February remained painful.

“Most of us stayed at home during Valentine’s Day, and even when the market reopened, I still felt hesitant if a client walked too close to me, although we didn’t have infections in the market and the logistics were cut off so we could not really send out flowers,” Cao said.

Read more at the South China Morning Post (Laura Zhou)

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