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March 13, 2010

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Festival celebrates fields of gold

THE Fengxian Rape Flower Festival will be held from March 29 to April 12 and visitors can enjoy scenery, folk performances and home cooking. Fengxian also plans a city of the future on Hangzhou Bay. Pan Zheng and Tan Weiyun report.

Fields of brilliant yellow rapeseed flowers always draw visitors to Fengxian District and the third annual Rape Flower Festival will be held in ancient Zhuanghang Town from March 27 to April 12.

The scene of vast swathes of golden blooms reminds people that spring has really arrived. Rapeseed plants are grown for edible oil and animal fodder; stems and leaves can also be eaten. The plants are dark green and can grow more than 1 meter high.

The festival draws many tourists to enjoy the fresh air and scenery, to eat country cooking and to enjoy entertainment and activities of all kinds, including numerous folk performances.

Visitors can get a taste of rural life in the district known as Shanghai's backyard garden that is thronged by enthusiastic shutterbugs.

Rapeseed oil is the major cash crop in the area.

A 13-hectare rape flower maze is under construction, with several dead ends and only one way out through the convoluted paths of gold.

"Agricultural experts and local farmers are working together to ensure perfect blooming during the festival," say Xu Jianjun, a spokesman for the district government.


Colorful leisure activities include catching fish, picking produce, playing with chickens and ducks, watching animal performances, flying kites, enjoying barbecues and home cooking.

A simulated gunfight will be staged in the fields.

Professional kite makers and flyers will demonstrate their skills.

Rural families will demonstrate their cooking skills and teach visitors how to make traditional rural desserts.

Since World Expo 2010 opens in May, Expo promotions will be part of the festival. Haibao, mascot of World Expo 2010, will stroll about and ask visitors Expo questions. Those who answer correctly will receive gifts.

Visitors can write their names and wishes for Expo and Zhuanghang Town on the signature wall of Gold Street in the town.

Folk performances will be staged every day throughout the town.


Grand festivals deserve delicious food and Fengxian Rape Flower Festival is no exception.

Visitors can taste authentic rural dishes, including Zhuanghang specialties such as chicken from pear gardens. The delicious chicken meat tastes a bit like pears.

Another important local food is delicate-tasting, non-oily lamb that is enjoyed by many food lovers.

After taking in the fields of golden flowers and playing a bit, visitors can relax in local eateries and feast on lamb with fresh-picked organic vegetables.

Date: March 27-April 12

Venue: Zhuanghang Town, Fengxian District

How to get there:

1. Special festival lines available at the Shanghai Tour Bus Center (Tel: 6426-5555).

2. Lianzhuang Line (Lianhua Road Station of Metro Line 1-Zhuanghang).

3. Puwei Line (Pudong Tangqiao-Zhuanghang) to Zhuanghang No. 2 Bus Line.

Admission: Free

Tel: 3365-0549, 5742-7180



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