Decoding lucky Chinese New Year fruits and flowers

Tangerines, bamboo plants, pink blossoms…. These are some of the common gifts and decorations we see everywhere during Chinese new year, but what significance do they bring?

Chinese culture is rich with tradition meaning, and these plants and fruits certainly offer much more than just their aesthetic quality.

Find out why these gifts of nature are so popular during Chinese new year celebrations, and besides picking up a few pots to decorate your own home, why not also have some delivered to your family and friends (and enjoy *free delivery all this month)!

Photo by Andrey Safonov from Pexels
  • Oranges

    Citrus fruits of all kinds have become somewhat synonymous to Chinese new year, including clementines, kumquats, and tangerines – all of which are types of mandarin oranges.

    The reason these fruits are so popular during CNY, is because the Chinese word for ‘orange’ happens to sound similar to the word for ‘wealth’, therefore acting as a pun for luck and fortune. Furthermore, the joyous orange colour is also believed to represent gold, and when placed around the house or even business premises, will attract good fortune.

    And on top of all of that, the consumption of oranges will give you a boost of vitamin C, for you to carry good health into the year ahead.

  • Lucky bamboo
    Looking like a miniature version of the bamboo stalks that pandas like to eat, this plant is a feng shui favourite as it is a symbol for fortune and prosperity. A resilient plant that is easy to care for, and can be grown in soil or water.

    Bonus tip: Further enhance the lucky bamboo’s feng shui by decorating it with the element of the year. With this year (2021) celebrating the metal ox, consider hanging the ‘emperor coins’ from your plant, or displaying it in a metal pot or container.

  • Pomelos
    Also a citrus fruit, this larger cousin of the orange is another common presence on the dining tables of families during Chinese new year. The sweet and tangy taste of the flesh makes it quite versatile in how it can be served – on its own or incorporated into other dishes – and is also rich in vitamin C.

    Besides being a lucky fruit, pomelos also signify family unity (perhaps for its size, being a fruit to be shared with members of the household).

  • Spring blossoms
    There are actually three kinds of flowering trees that produce those picturesque pink blossoms that we see around Chinese new year: peach blossoms, plum blossoms, and cherry blossoms (or famously known as the sakura).
    In colder climates, these trees are usually the first to flower after winter, signifying the arrival of spring and the renewal of life, with early spring usually coinciding with the Chinese new year season.

    Peach blossoms, identifiable by the blooms that appear on the stems either as a solitary flower or with two flowers sprouting at the same position, are said to represent romance, prosperity and growth. And while this plant grows shorter stems, if choosing to care for a potted plant at home, the tree can grow to significant sizes!

    The plum blossom on the other hand represents perseverance and reliability, and can be identified by their rounded petals.

    And finally, the cherry blossom (though more popularly associated to Japan), still holds ties to Chinese culture by way of representing feminine strength, as well as love and passion. You can always tell a sakura flower apart from other pink blooms from the split petals, as well as the way the flowers grow in clusters along the trees’ long stems.
Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels
  • Pussy willow
    Appearing as whitish fluffy buds on tall stalks, florists and vendors have also found ways to colour this plant, making them more striking and decorative.

    Most attractive when in bundles, this plant symbolises growth and the coming of prosperity. And aptly so, as these plants can last well after Chinese new year to make for an addition to your house plants.

  • Orchids
    A favourite flower among feng shui-enthusiasts, the orchid represents fertility and luxury. The association to fertility also links the flower to values of children and family.

    An all-year-round available plant, the exotic orchid always makes for a good house gift, and is an evergreen CNY appropriate gift.

    Honorable mentions!

  • Chrysanthemums
    The flower behind Malaysia’s favourite teh bunga, this flower represents wealth, prosperity and longevity. These bright yellow-to-orange coloured flowers are sure to brighten up any space, adding to the festive vibes of the occasion.

  • Peonies
    These flowers are particularly auspicious as they are associated with feminine beauty, innocence, affection, and charm. Whether choosing a red or pink hue, these flowers make for a lovely February decoration to serve both CNY and Valentine’s!

    Checkout the Gemspot app to see the many CNY special edition items for ordering: including CNY hampers packed with oranges and other edible goodies, or a beautiful flower arrangement such as an auspicious pussy willow bouquet! Whether for yourself or as a gift for someone else, enjoy free delivery on all orders, all throughout the CNY season for distances of up to 25km!

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