Those beautiful Beijing bouquets

Photo by Gao Erqiang/

In case you missed it, these are the bouquets that winners at the Beijing Olympics are receiving: hand-knit cashmere flowers, lovely permanent keepsakes instead of real flowers that will wilt in a few hours.

“The rose stands for friendship, the Chinese rose for perseverance, the lily of the valley for happiness, the hydrangea for unity, the laurel for victory, the sweet osmanthus for harvest, and the olive for peace,” explained Gu Honglei, Party secretary of HYX.

Gu added that the bouquet for the Paralympic Games would also feature the calliopsis, which symbolizes freedom and eternal happiness.

HYX is Hengyuanxiang Group, one of the official sponsors of the games.

The bouquets are made using traditional Shanghai wool-knitting techniques almost 100 years old, and it takes as long as 35 hours to complete one bouquet.

I confess when I first saw a picture and story about the bouquets being unusual, I thought the white flowers might be popcorn! In my defense, it was not a very good picture.

(I also confess to wondering by whom and under what circumstances the bouquets were made. But that’s for another time.)

Banner photo: The Olympic Games/Instagram

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