The peony, boasting bright colors and an elegant appearance, is a symbol of peace and prosperity and thus recognized as "king of the flowers" in China. Peonies are bred and grown in many parts of the country. Over the centuries, numerous poems and paintings have been created to praise the flower. Peonies were particularly popular during the Tang Dynasty, when they were extensively cultivated in the imperial gardens and praised as the national flower. In the tenth century, the ancient city of Luoyang became the center for peony cultivation, a position it still holds today. Nowadays, thousands of tourists from home and abroad flock to Luoyang for the annual Peony Festival to both admire the unique beauty of the city's peonies and explore the history of the ancient capital of nine dynasties.