As with previous years, the 2012 Peach Blossom Festival will be held daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from late March to early April (March 25-April 20) at the Nanhui Peach Blossom Village in Shanghai. The peach blossom has long been considered a symbol of life, prosperity, and luck in love by the Chinese; and this festival is as much a local celebration of the aforementioned bloom as it is an opportunity to introduce newcomers and tourists to its beauty and significance.
In ancient times, the Chinese believed that peach trees possessed more vitality than any other tree, to the extent that early rulers making tours of their territories were often preceded by court “sorcerers” wielding peach rods designed to protect their rulers from evil spirits.
Today, visitors stroll beneath a ceiling of pink and red blossoms that covers acres of orchards in the Nanhui District. Various homes and small establishments are open to the public, and visitors are encouraged to take tea with locals and sample local delicacies. Admission to the festival is less than ten dollars.
The setting is sufficiently beautiful as it served as a setting for acclaimed director Ang Lee’s 2007 film Lust, Caution. Suffice it to say, if the scenery is lovely enough to meet that demanding auteur’s cinematographic requirements, it is possessed of a very high level of refinement indeed. Nanhui is one of Shanghai’s most vibrant suburbs. Other points of interest include the 1000-year-old Xinchang Old Town, and the Shanghai Wild Animal Park.