Every year, on the 15th day of the first lunar month, Fucheng Town, in Qiongshan city, becomes an enchanted oasis filled with magic.
That’s when the “Fucheng Lantern Festival” welcomes huge crowds from all over China and abroad, who visit the island of Hainan to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Vibrant colours and fresh aromas take over the streets, as locals and tourists exchange flowers to wish each other well, welcome a happy life in the coming year and express feelings of love, friendship and solidarity. For the younger generations, the ritual is a perfect chance to make new friends.
This cheerful event is rooted in the Tang dynasty, which gave birth to an incense exchange festival which continued for many years.
In the past, when Fucheng was the headquarters of the Hainanese government, there were no street lights. The roads and paths were decorated with lanterns and people used to carry scented candles or incense sticks to light their way, whilst giving some to passers-by.
But from 1984, as electric street lights took over, the festival was reinvented. Locals and visitors started exchanging fresh flowers, the rose being the most popular, creating, instead, a spectacular moving garden, which is hard to resist.
A spectacle of beauty, this festival is a unique opportunity to absorb the real essence of Hainan and its people. During your visit you can also drink, dance or stop by at one of the flower markets to buy or exchange flowers. It’s memories like these you’ll take with you on your way back home.