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Chinese New Year (CNY) or Spring Festival or Lunar New Year has a rich history behind it. Celebrated in January or February each year, China goes on holiday, unlike the rest of the world, for seven days.
Flowers and fruits hold special significance during CNY, which is celebrated in several Asian countries and regions including Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Here we've rounded up the top 9 lucky fruits and flowers that are most often gifted and used as decorations at Chinese New Year.
Oranges are very popular and from weeks before Spring Festival, one would see potted plants with miniature oranges (they are real, and may also be Kumquat trees) blossoming.
The orange looks like the sun and is aligned with the yang (positive) principle, thus being a highly auspicious symbol of abundance and happiness.
Potted shrubs are ideal for indoor decorations during Chinese New Year, and are available in all flower markets. They represent 'the lucky tree bearing fruits'.
It is traditional to place mandarin oranges along with a red envelope next to children's pillows in every Chinese household to bring them good fortune. These are also placed in the family's rice container to bring good blessings to the family as well as for gifting.
This is an important fruit whether it's green or yellow (ripened). Pomelos are used in cooking when in season, which is right before new year. They are also acknowledged to bring good luck to the household.
It is common practice to decorate the home with a single or a pair of pomelos. A pair is better because as they say — 'all good things come in twos'. This fruit is also symbolic of family unity.
This group of fruits is symbolic of good luck, wealth, fortune, gold, prosperity and fertility. These serve as holy offerings in Buddhist temples and are also used in cooking, not to mention gifting among relatives.
During Chinese New Year, any flower market or shop will have abundant bouquets, pots and arrangements of Orchids — the variety and colors are limitless.
Orchids are delicate, beautiful and elegant flowers, and in China, they have long been considered to be symbolic of 'many children' or fertility and abundance.
Orchids also signify refinement, luxury and innocence. These flowers make for valuable gifts in this season.
Very popular around this time, these flowers are popular in decorations.
The plant is considered sacred in China. The flowers are customarily placed in beautiful and valuable vases.
The peach fruit represents longevity and that makes the fruit and its flowers very important to the Chinese, especially around this time. In addition, peach blossom symbolizes romance, prosperity, and growth. These are popular with single young people, looking for love.
These bright pink flowers symbolize perseverance and reliability — two traits essential to be successful in life. Very common around this time of the year in parks and gardens. This is one of the most important symbolic flowers for the Chinese. It represents endurance and courage. The plum, along with orchid (purity), bamboo (uprightness), and chrysanthemum (humility), constitute 'the four nobles'.
This is a beautiful flower that is associated with feminine beauty, innocence, affection, and charm. It is known as the 'flower of riches and honor'. Red peonies are particularly auspicious.
These are the buds on the willow plant and they look beautiful, almost like silk, giving out green shoots. This flower is a sign of growth and represents the coming of prosperity.
This flower is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity, and has a unique delicate appearance. One of the most auspicious flowers in Chinese New Year, they can grow in a shallow dish of water and pebbles, and they look and smell lovely.