Shopping in Luoyang
Although not the capital, there are many specialties that can be found in Luoyang. The most famous would have to be the peonies that are found all over the place, flowers that are also the symbol of the city. For those after handicrafts the copied Tang Dynasty
three-color glazed pottery, that can be found in many places in Luoyang and has a history of as long as 1,000 years, is not to be missed. For tea connoisseurs, a taste of the pure and crisp Xinyang tea should not be missed, made from leaves of some of China's most unsullied land.
Guangzhou Market, located in the busiest section of the city, is one of the largest department stores in the province. It is a good place to get virtually anything, if you are planning to go further to the more deserted west. The Arts and Craft Store on Zhongzhou Lu sells imitation palace lanterns and replicas of Shang bronzes. Upstairs, you can also purchase some good afore-mentioned glazed pottery horses and camels. Another similar venue is the Antique Store in the Old Town God's Temple (Chenghuang miao).
Tang Dynasty Three-color Glazed Pottery
The Tang Dynasty
three-color glazed pottery (Tangsancai) is the crystallization of a highly developed art, which is already over ten millennia old.
Although the pottery was so named because of its three major colors - red, green and yellow, some other colors can still be seen, such as white, black, blue and purple, helping it secure its place as one of the most famous specialties in China.
The pottery work on display around Luoyang, mainly featuring horse, camel and human figures, are all modeled in a smooth style and bear a sort of a metallic luster thanks to the application of the unique glazing technique.
Luoyang is the hometown of the peony.
Throughout the centuries, numerous poets have painted poems and poetic
prose glorifying it. Although there has never been a nation-wide
official survey as to which flower should be voted the national one, the
peony is generally acknowledged to be China's best. The peony, over 90
in species by color and shape, is the symbol of wealth for Chinese
people, which is the main reason why these pretty flowers frequently
appear on Chinese embroidery work and on the smooth qipao, the
popular Chinese dresses.
It has long been the custom of the local
folks to admire the peony during springtime, which is in full bloom in
April. As a result, the locals of Luoyang set up a Peony Festival every
year, from April 15 to April 25, during which time lantern, film and
literary works about it are all displayed for people to appreciate. In
the past few years the festival has become more and more popular and it
is well worth going to see. The best of the peonies during this time can
be found in the Wancheng
Xinyang, a small town located in the mountainous region not far from the city of Luoyang, is well-known for its perennial mist veiling the mountains, which is indispensable for the growth of tea of the best kind.
With the unpolluted air and water creating an almost perfect environment, tea here can be harvested three times a year, thus forming a sharp contrast with the common practice of the annual tea leaves collection across China. Among the three batches, the autumn brew is usually the best.