National Peony Festival in Luoyang, Henan China.

Indeed the province of Henan holds a spellbinding story for whomever that chance upon a visit these part of historical China. Home to the famed Qin Emperor’s Terracotta Warriors, UNESCO Heritage Longmen Grottoes where one marvel at the carvings of tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples. Walking on nothing but see through “Glass Skywalk” at a height of 3,500 ft on Yuntai Mountain will surely take one’s breath away if not your faith.

But hold everything else and focus your travel to Luoyang, Henan in the month of April. You can meet the queen of flowers where she holds court in Luoyang, the “Peony”. Even Marco Polo has remarked in his travels, I have never seen a rose as big as a cabbage!

The beauty of Peony flower have captivated famed poets and artist of China from the early centuries. The Peony’s in Luoyang however tells a far more regal tale and it’s no wonder that China chooses her as the national flower.

According to legend the Empress Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty (691 AD) and only female “Emperor”, an avid poetist, was inspired proceed to compose a poem requesting the God of Flowers to carry out her order.

“Tomorrow I will visit the Upper Garden,
Now please inform the spring:
Flowers must bloom at night
And before the morning wind blows”.

The very next day much to the amazement of her subjects, there were a spectacular scene of more than 100 types of flowers which bloomed overnight. All except the Peony tree which ignored her whims. With anger and vengeance she instructed all Peony’s to be burned! Legend said that the famous species “Burnt Bone Peony” was the descendant of the burned peony’s that was ordered by the Empress Wu.

Further proof of the Peonys’ value captured in paintings by another Empress, well known for modernization of China during her era. Titled “Large Painting of Peony Flowers By Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 – 1908) Qing Dynasty, GUANGXU PERIOD auctioned at houses such as CHRISTIES’S and Sotheby’s for an estimated value of USD 100,205. What more proof needed she rules as the “Queen of Flowers”?

The beautiful buds of Peony’s has been increasing in popularity not only in China but the world over, much sought after by Brides all over to grace their special day. Since ancient China’s time it is a symbol of richness, opulence, beauty, honor and high social status as it grace the gardens of Emperors. In spring it is used as a metaphor for female beauty and reproduction. Pictured in full bloom, the peony symbolizes peace. It is also a blessing to present Peony Flowers to your love on the 12th Year Wedding Anniversary.

Set your date to meet the “Queen” for she will not wait for you after April.

Apple Vacations has always tailor make its itinerary to include special seasonal visits. Explore and find out more details on Civilization Henan Tours (Peony Season):
Departure: 14 & 17 APRIL 2018HOT!
Call Apple Asia: 03-2141 8250

The famed Luoyang’s Red Peony

Luoyang Peony Festival continues at night

Who have not heard about the must-visit Terracotta Museum?

Among one of the first group of world geology park, China’s National 5A-class level scenic spots, Yuntai Mountain.