BY 沈容安(Bernice Shen)
The Chinese New Year means not only the beginning of a new year but also the beginning of spring. Most of Taiwanese people love to go flower viewing, mountain climbing or sightseeing with their family, friends or lovers to enjoy the beautiful natural views in this season.
The most popular activity above all is flower viewing. Flowers commonly seen in spring like Tung flower（油桐花）, Peach blossom（桃花）and Canola flower（油菜花）are beloved by people. But the one which can represent this season the most is surely Cherry blossom(櫻花). Prunus serrulata（台灣山櫻）was even voted as The Tree of New Taipei City before.
In the recent years, New Taipei City Government has been holding a Cherry blossom festival. The purpose of this event is to inform citizen that there’s no need to fly all the way to Japan, because there are lots of beautiful Cherry blossoms in our city. The government also made a Cherry blossom guiding map for people to travel around all of the districts to appreciate flowers.
Renai Park(仁愛公園) in Yonghe(永和) is a very popular spot in the guiding map, where is full of varieties of Cherry blossoms like Yoshino cherry（吉野櫻）, Taiwan cherry（台灣山櫻花）, Yaezakura（八重櫻）and Fuji cherry（富士櫻）. The flowering phase starts from January to March every year. It always attracts lots of residents and visitors to come here taking photos and going for a walk.
“I came here to appreciate the Cherry blossoms every year.” said Rita Wu（吳家齡）who lives nearby. She also said,“I know there’s a festival of flowers holding by New Taipei City Government every year, and I’ve been to Dajianshan（大尖山）in Xizhi（汐止）for flower viewing. I think Renai Park is planned well, very clean, convenient and comfortable. And I’m willing to travel around other districts for appreciating those breathtaking sceneries with the guidingmap they made.”
Promoting the beautiful sceneries to people can also improve the local economy. The other aim of this festival is to promote special features of each district and to make people know this city well as they’re appreciating flowers. Hoping all of the districts in New Taipei City can be gathered together by the fascinating plants to create a “Romantic Cherry Blossom City”.