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The Luoyang Peony is China’s traditional and well-known flower. It always represents elegance and poise. With various varieties and marvelous colors, the Luoyang Peony enjoys the honor of “King of the Flower Kingdom” and “Luoyang Peony Ranking the First under Heaven”.

Throughout the city, you can see all kinds of peonies with colors ranging from red, pink and white to the rarest dark. When spring arrives, the whole city is soaked in the sweet smell of peony. In 1982, it was defined as the city flower of Luoyang and at the same time, a decision was made to hold an annual peony fair festival in Luoyang from April 15 to 25, concurrently with lantern shows and other forms of entertainment. During the festival, people from all corners meet inLuoyangto see the peonies and so the city livens up with a spectacle of seas of flowers and tides of people.

In April, you can enjoy yourself in the streets, onPeony Square, inPeonyParkandXiyuanPark. But the most famous place to view and admire the Luoyang Peony isWangchengPark.

Located on both banks ofJianRiveron the north side of the western reach ofZhongzhou Road,WangchengParkgains its name only because it is now on the relics of theImperialCityin the Western Zhou Dynasty. Covering an area of 67 hectares, it is the largest comprehensive park inLuoyang.

There is a zoo, peony yards, swimming pools and an under-ground exhibition room of the Han Tomb. In the peony yards on both sides of Jian River, there are thousands of rare and precious peonies named “”Yellow yao “and “Purple wei”. These two peony yards become the main spot of the annual peony fair.

The ancient architectural complex in the western part of the park fully displays the lingering charm of the Zhou’s architectural style. The tablet named Hetu and Luoshu is another attractive spot there. Hetu and Luoshu is a famous legend of ancient Chinese civilization. Some 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, a horse with a picture-scroll named Hetu on its back sprang out of the Yellow River, and an immortal turtle with a book named Luoshu on its back swam in theLuoRiver. Later, Fuxi, known as the ancestor of human beings, deducted the Eight Diagrams of Yin and yang (the positive and negative) and thus the universe was divided into two, the Heaven and the Earth. However, according to the doctrine of Luoshu, Dayu, the first king of the Chinese Nation, drew up a constitution named “Hong Fan Jiu Chou” to rule the country and from then on began the Chinese civilization. So during every Pure Brightness Festival-held in the 5th of the 24 solar terms, personages of various circles gather here to worship their common ancestors.

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Located in the west of  Henan Province in central China,Luoyang occupies quite an important geographic location. It is in the middle reaches of theYellow River and is encircled by mountains and plains. To its east and west are the Hu Lao Pass and Han Gu Pass which were essential domestic transportation junctions in ancient times. To its north,MengjinCountywas an important ferry crossing of theYellow River. Thus,Luoyangwas selected as the capital city by 13 dynasties starting from the Xia Dynasty (21st-16th century BC) in the 21st century BC. In the period following the Han Dynasty (206BC-220), and particularly during the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, the city experienced a period of growth and prosperity and ranked as one of the international metropolitans of the time.

Its long history endowsLuoyangwith a profound sense of culture. The city is the cradle of Chinese civilization where many Chinese legends happened, such as Nvwa Patching the Sky, Dayu Controlling Flood and the Chinese ancestor Huangdi Establishing the Nation. The city is also famed as the ‘Poets Capital’ as poets and literates of ancient China often gathered there and left grand works, Longmen Grottoes including ‘Book of Wisdom’ (‘Daode Jing’), ‘Han History’ (‘Han Shu’) and ‘Administrative Theory of Admonishing Official’ (‘Zi Zhi Tong Jian’). Religious culture once thrived here. Taoism originated there and the first Buddhist temple set up by the government was located there.Luoyangis also the hometown of many of the scientific inventions of ancientChina, such as the seismograph, armillary sphere, paper making, printing and the compass.

 Luoyang has rich historical and cultural sites. The Longmen Grottoes are one of China’s three most precious treasure houses of stone sculptures and inscriptions. The White Horse Temple is the first Buddhist temple and is honored as the “Cradle of Buddhism inChina”.  Mt.Mangshanis where ancient tombs of emperors, nobles and literates in the past dynasties collected. The Luoyang Ancient Tombs Museum is the world’s first example of the kind and presents thousands of treasures discovered in the tombs.ShaolinTempleis the place of origin for Chinese Zen Buddhism and the cradle of Chinese Martial Art. Landscapes inLuoyanghold the same attraction as the cultural sites.WhiteCloudMountain,FuniuMountain, Long Yu Wan National Forest Park, Ji Guan Limestone Cave and the Yellow River Xiaolangdi Scenic Area are all worth a visit. Additionally,Luoyangis particularly well known for its peonies. Every year in April, the flowers blossom and attract tourists from all over the world.

White Horse Temple Dining inLuoyangis quite an enjoyable experience. Various kinds of local dishes, including Water Feast, Yan Cai and others which use the famousYellow Rivercarps as an ingredient, together with the uniquely flavored soups, will greatly satisfy your taste buds.Luoyang’s local specialties such as Palace Lanterns, bronze vessels and Tri-colored glazed potteries will no doubt delight your eyes and offer you ideal souvenirs. Being a modern city as well,Luoyanghas hotels of all standards which provide you quite a broad choice for your stay. Most of the hotels have reasonable room prices and perfect services.

Transportation is well developed inLuoyang.BeijiaoAirporthas many domestic flights extending to many large cities in other provinces. It’s also very easy to get toLuoyangby train because one ofChina’s most important railway lines Long Hai Railway traverses the city and connects most cities in east, west and centralChina. The convenient city buses and taxies can carry you around the city. Near the railway station, special tourist buses can take you to the tourist spots in the suburban areas of the city.

Luoyang, a charming city filled with the fragrance of peonies and the primitive atmosphere of ancient civilization, is waiting and welcoming guests from all over the world. Putting the city into the list of your exploration inChina, you will get far more than what you expect.

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