SHANGHAI, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- A bunch of 138 kg of roses arrived in Shanghai from Ecuador late Monday and instantly became popular as the Qixi festival, or the Chinese Valentine's Day, comes on Thursday this year.
The Qixi festival, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, celebrates the legend of the annual meeting between the mythological figures of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.
The traditional festival has driven up imports and sales of fresh flowers in July.
Data from Shanghai Customs shows that in July, Shanghai Pudong International Airport imported 151.6 tonnes of fresh-cut roses through general cargo channels, an increase of 56.6 percent over the same period last year. Most of the roses are from South American countries including Ecuador and Colombia.
"We've simplified clearance procedures and opened the green channel for the vulnerable fresh-cut flowers," said Cai Sheng from the airport.