Sales of artificial flowers surge in Dhangadhi and Humla, Nepal.

Market places and bazaars in Dhangadhi in the Sudurpaschim Province, Nepal, are abloom with artificial flowers as the five-day festivity Tihar continues.

Marigold and globe amaranth are in high demand during the festival, but owing to the shortage in the market, locals in urban areas have been attracted to artificial flowers made up of plastic, cloth, and paper.

"Flowers that are offered while worshipping the crow, dog, cow, and oxen during the festival are in short supply in Dhangadhi town areas. Besides, the limited numbers of original and natural flowers that are brought from Narayangadh, Chitwan district are too costly, forcing the consumers to opt for relatively cheaper artificial flowers," said Ashok Thapa, a local trader.

"Commercial farming of marigold and globe amaranth flowers is very limited in Dhangadhi. Small nurseries are unable to cater to the high demand of marigold and globe amaranth flowers during Tihar," he said. The Dhangadhi’s trader observed that consumers were attracted to artificial flowers due to their attractive look and durability. Parbati Bhatta, a local, said that she chose to buy artificial flowers as the original ones were hard to find, and even if found, it would be costly.

Anita Joshi, who was going to the village to look out for natural marigold flowers, said: “The marigold flowers planted in our garden were destroyed by the unseasonal rain.” Meanwhile, colorful artificial flowers bloom in Simkot, district headquarters of Humla, in absence of adequate natural flowers.

Low production of natural flowers could not meet the high demands during the festivals. Local traders have flown the artificial flowers from Banke and Surkhet districts.

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