Xiaolan Town has received the title of Golden Petal of Chrysanthemum Town and is one of the top 10 scenic attractions of Zhongshan. In Xiaolan, the history of chrysanthemums goes back to centuries. Every family in the town has a garden of chrysanthemum.
Things to do
Xiaolan Town is one of the top 10 attractions in Zhongshan City and is also known as the Golden Petals of Chrysanthemum city. The people in the town have kept up the tradition of cultivating these flowers for hundreds of years. From flowerbeds to courtyards, roofs, balconies to streets, there are a large range of Chrysanthemums that can be found throughout the town. During fall, the flowers bloom in a wide range of colors. Golden color of the flower petals can be seen everywhere, giving Xiaolan its name.
During the Song Dynasty’s Xianchun reign, an imperial named Su had fled the palace in pursuit of happiness and had taken refuge in Nanxiong’s Zhuji Alley in Guangdong Province. The Duzong Emperor had dispatched his army to track her and had killed several innocent people on the way.
In the Zhuji Alley, there had been several businessmen who heard the news and proceeded towards Xiaolan and towards safety. Wild golden Chrysanthemums could be seen throughout the fertile hills and fields. The temperate climate of this region urged the group to settle in the location. The land was cleared for farming and for cultivating the flowers.
The First Chrysanthemums Fair
The first ever fair had been organized in the town in 1814 during the Qing Dynasty’s Jiaqing Reign for commemorating the creation of the town by their ancestors. The first Chrysanthemums fair had been a joint effort of more than 10 local guilds. They decided to organize a similar fair every sixty years. In 1994, the fair reached its peak by showcasing over 500,000 pots of Chrysanthemums of more than 1500 varieties over a course of 17 days. The event received over 8 million visitors from all over the world.
The Importance of Chrysanthemums in the Town
Chrysanthemums have become a major medium for the town people to establish friendship and trade routes with the world. It promotes the town’s economy and contributes to the overall development in several ways. The best way to experience Chrysanthemums in the town is during the fair. However, this major event only takes place every 60 years.
The Annual Fair
For those who want to learn more about Chrysanthemums, every year in October the town organizes a smaller exhibition of Chrysanthemums along all its parks and major streets. The festival showcases 100,000 pots of Chrysanthemums of more than 1000 varieties. Visitors can also enjoy various other activities and Chrysanthemum produce such as Chrysanthemums wine, Chrysanthemum meats, Chrysanthemum cakes, Chrysanthemum fish balls and various related dishes. The banquet at the fair is highly popular and is a feast for all the senses.
While Xiaolan is quite a small town, it does offer plenty of attractions other than its Chrysanthemums. It is home to a Twin Beauty Bridge dating back to the Ming Dynasty, the Cemetery of Revolutionary Martyrs, People’s Park, Plum Blossom Fresh Water Well and He’s Temple. Mr. He had been the ancestor of this family in the Guangdong Province and had once been a major minister for Ming Dynasty Emperor.