The Chinese New Year or the spring festival begins from the eve of the lantern festival and continues till quite a number of days. Traditionally the Chinese New Year was a time to honour the Gods and also pay homage to one’s ancestors.
Along with various regional customs and traditions, there are quite a number of symbolisms involved in the entire process of the New Year celebration. The celebrations involve certain elements that are symbolic or have a deeper meaning. Following this trail, gifting of plants or decorating with various flowers and plants during the New Year celebrations too are of utmost importance and carries great spiritual meaning.
Let us then have a look at the plants which are considered auspicious and symbolic during the course of the Chinese New Year Celebrations.
- Orchids – The delicate and precious plants such as Orchid are symbolically considered to be “many children” or fertility. During the Chinese New Year any flower market or shop worth its business will stock bouquets, pots and various other arrangements of orchids; as these delicate, beautiful and elegant plants come in multiple varieties and colours.
- Oranges – Oranges are extremely popular New Year gifts and it is a common sight to see potted plants of oranges with miniature oranges; which are also known as Kumquat trees being readied for gifting. The Orange is symbolically associated with the sun and thus with the yang principle; thereby signalling happiness and abundance. It is a tradition to keep mandarin orange and a red envelope next to the children’s pillow to bring then good fortune. It is also kept in the rice containers to bring blessings to the family.
- Pomelos – Pomelos are acknowledged to bring good fortune to the family, and is considered important whether they are green or yellow. It is a quite common practice to decorate homes with single or a pair of pomelos.
- Peach Blossoms — Peach blossoms are considered to be sacred to the Chinese, and the peach fruit represents longevity. These are also correlated to romance, prosperity and growth and are customarily placed in beautiful vases.
- Plum Blossoms – The bright pink flowers of the Plum blossoms signifies perseverance and reliability and is one of the most important flowers for the Chinese. The plum blossoms also signify courage and endurance, and along with orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemums constitute the “four Nobles”.
- Peonies — Peony is symbolically associated with innocence, affection charm and feminine beauty. Red peonies are particularly auspicious. These are also known as- flower of riches and honour.
- Pussy Willows – The Pussy Willow is a sign of growth and represents the arrival of prosperity. These beautiful buds are silken and give out the green shoots.
- Narcissus or Water Fairy Flowers — This flower is a symbol of fortune and prosperity. Hailed as one of the most auspicious flowers by the Chinese, they can be grown in a shallow dish of water and pebbles. These are also beautiful to look at and smell lovely!
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