A green canvas peppered with pink specks was a sight to behold yesterday at the Práia de Nossa Senhora da Esperança, the wetlands area in the south of Taipa, where the 17th Macau Lotus Flower Festival has been on show for the last 10 days.
Thousands of lotus flowers have decorated the wetlands landscape since June 10, attracting as many as 300 visitors per day. Even the rain over the weekend could not deter the droves of visitors, whom arrived in groups of several dozens yesterday to snap pictures of this annual celebration.
Many visitors chose to survey the scene from the promenade alongside the Taipa Houses-Museum, overlooking the Cotai Strip, while others descended into the marshy ecological area for a closer look. More lotus flowers were arranged in an area adjacent to the waterlogged site, which usually features an assorted flower garden.
Security officials at the site, who kept track of visitors with handheld counters, estimate that the event drew about 300 visitors to the site per day. At around 4 p.m. on Sunday, one official estimated that 200 people had entered the wetlands area that day, despite the incessant rain.
The byline of this year’s festival was “The Scent of Lotus Perfumes – The City of Macau,” and the themed specimen was the Nelumbo nucifera “Haojiang Bibo”.
The Haojiang Bibo specimen is a relatively new species that was purposefully cultivated by the mainland’s lotus flower study center to commemorate the Macau SAR’s 10th anniversary in 2009.
Nelumbo nucifera, commonly cultivated in water gardens, is a species native to tropical Asia and Queensland, Australia. It holds a special significance in various cultures: In Buddhist symbolism, the flower represents purity of the body and mind, and in some Asian cultures it serves as an icon of femininity.
The flower also has a close historical connection to Macau. The centerpiece of the territory’s flag is a white lotus flower, and it is also embodied in parts of the city’s architecture, including the large bronze statue in the Golden Lotus Square as well as serving as the inspiration behind the Grand Lisboa casino’s unusual shape.
The 17th Macau Lotus Flower Festival officially concluded yesterday.