Lunar New Year shopping market opens in southern China

People in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are visiting a holiday shopping market to buy flowers and other good-luck decorations for the upcoming Lunar New Year, which starts on Sunday.

The New Year market opened on Thursday in central Guangzhou for the first time in three years, following the end of China's zero-COVID policy.

From early in the morning, many people visited stalls set up along a one-kilometer stretch of a traffic-free road.

The market features orchids, peach blossoms and other flowers considered to be good-luck items. Guangzhou is known for the wide variety of flowers that grow there thanks to its year-round mild weather.

The city's government is handing out shopping vouchers worth a total of around 1.5 million dollars to local residents and tourists visiting the market, to jumpstart stagnant consumption.

A local resident told NHK that the pandemic depressed the economy, making people feel hopeless. She said she hopes business will be back and booming in the new year.