Apart from lucky dishes, fruits and flowers are important parts of the Chinese New Year. Flowers and fruits hold special significance during Chinese New Year. Here we've rounded up the top lucky flowers and fruits that are most often gifted and used as decorations at Chinese New Year.
1. Tangerine or Kumquat Tree — Wealth and Good Luck
Kumquat trees are a very popular plant displayed during the Chinese New Year holidays, especially in South China's Cantonese-speaking regions of Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong, and Guangxi. Having a kumquat tree at home symbolizes a wish for both wealth and good luck.
In Cantonese and Mandarin, the name of the tree sounds like the word for 'good luck'.
2. Pussy Willows - Growth and Prosperity
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.
3. Lucky Bamboo — Strength
The lucky bamboo is the Chinese symbol for strength. It is usually bent, twisted and twirled into various shapes. The plant is decorated with red ribbons and lucky ornaments.
4. Orchids - Fertility and Abundance
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 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.
5. Peach blossoms - Prosperity and Growth
Very popular around this time, these flowers are popular in decorations. Peach blossom symbolizes romance, prosperity, and growth. These are popular with single young people, looking for love.
The plant is considered sacred in China. The peach fruit represents longevity and that makes the fruit and its flowers very important to the Chinese, especially around this time.
6. Plum blossoms - Endurance and Courage
These bright pink flowers symbolize perseverance and reliability - two traits essential to being 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'.
7. Peonies - Richness and Peace
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.
8. Narcissus or Water Fairy Flowers - Good Fortune and 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.
9. Flamingo Lily — Prosperity
Red or pink flamingo lilies are welcomed by people for Chinese New Year. It is considered an auspicious flower and symbolizes prosperity. With blossoms shaped like little hearts, these flowers are perfect for Valentine’s Day too.
10. Oranges — Abundance and Happiness
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.
11. Pomelos — Good Luck and Family Unity
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.
12. Apples — Harmony and Peace
In Chinese culture, the word for apple, "ping guo", is a homophone for the word "ping", meaning peace or tranquility, so an apple symbolizes a wish for peace. Green apple represents money. While the red apple symbolizes prosperity and abundance.
13. Watermelons — Wealth and Prosperity
Watermelon is considered a source of wealth. It is a symbol of fecundity, because of the many seeds it contains.
14. Grapes — Wealth and Fortune
The grape is known as a luxury fruit. Grapes were often eaten by royalties. It symbolizes wealth, fortune, fertility, and prosperity.