The Lunar New Year holiday is usually a busy time for flower farms in Hong Kong. Farms prepare to sell plum blossoms, orchids and daffodils in flower markets during the joyous season. But the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions in these markets this year have affected many farms. Farmers fear ending up with an oversupply of flowers.
Lunar New Year fairs – known as “flower markets” in Cantonese – usually take place before the holidays. Thousands of flower vendors and merchandise merchants sell their wares to the public. This year, the Hong Kong government will impose restrictions on these markets. They will only be allowed to operate with half the usual number of people and will have to shorten their opening hours.
The policy is for farm owners like Yeung Siu-lung. He runs one of Hong Kong’s largest orchid farms. He had grown over 30,000 cooking pots orchids in 10 greenhouses in the rural New Territories of Hong Kong to prepare for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Yeung originally planned to have 16 sales spaces in the flower markets. Now he is considering other ways to sell his supply of orchids, including selling them online or encouraging buyers to visit farms directly.
The Lunar New Year traditionally brings a boost in sales for some businesses in Hong Kong. There is usually a big seasonal sale of products such as holiday foods, gifts and home products. decorationswhich often include flowers.
Flower farms like Yeung’s typically make about 50 percent of their profits from the Lunar New Year season alone, says business expert Francis Lun.
Pinky Chan is one of Yeung customers who drove an hour to his farm to buy orchids. Chan believed it was always important to create a happy atmosphere in difficult times.
“We Chinese feel happier if our homes are filled with red and green during Lunar New Year,” Chan said. “Because of the pandemic, we are not all very happy, we cannot meet our families. So I hope buying a flower pot for my parents can make them a little happier.
I am Jonathan Evans.
Alice Fung and Nicole Ko reported this story for The Associated Press. Jonathan Evans adapted this story for Learning English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.
words in this story
customers – nm people who buy goods or services from a business
decorations – nm things added to something else to make it more attractive
greenhouses – nm buildings or parts of buildings which have glass walls and a glass roof and which are used for the cultivation of plants
cooking pots – nm deep, usually rounded containers