Florists and nurseries in Singapore are enjoying brisk business in recent weeks due to the Chinese New Year frenzy. Those flowers and plants that have certain symbolism are in great demand during the season.
Unlike Christmas where only the Christmas tree is displayed, the Chinese have a fine selection of plants that are used as symbolic decoration items during the New Year season.
Below are some of the most popular plants with New Year shoppers in Singapore.
Mandarin orange kumquat & Four Season kumquat
Kumquat plant is a must-have for Lunar New Year. Mandarin oranges are called ‘kum’ in Cantonese and the pronunciation is similar to that for the word ‘gold’. Kumquat, therefore, is symbolic of ushering in good fortune, wealth and prosperity.
Known as Yin Lou in Cantonese. “Yin” and the words ‘silver’ and ‘money’ sound very similar in Cantonese. Therefore, having pussy willows at home during Lunar New Year represents having abundant luck and prosperity.
Golden Money Plant
Its Chinese name Jing qian shu comes from its angular-shaped leaves that resemble ancient Chinese gold ingots. This plant has thick, fleshy and naturally glossy leaves. When it flowers, it signifies future good fortune for the household.
Fortune Bamboo (also called Lucky Bamboo)
Refer to as Kai Yun Zhu in Chinese, meaning “bamboo that invites good fortune”. This plant is often used for fengshui purposes, as it is believed that they will bring prosperity, fortune and happiness to the household. Mostly from Taiwan and come in many different shapes and sizes.
‘Taohua’, the pink flowers of the peach tree are a customary adornment for the new year. The peach ‘tao’ is a symbol for longevity, growth and prosperity in Chinese culture. There is a saying that ‘tao hong yun gen hong’ meaning that the fuller the blossom the better your luck will be.
Peach wood is also believed to be able to curb evil. Traditional wooden swords used in ritual ceremonies are made from ‘tao’ wood.
Since Lunar New Year is celebrated during springtime, there are many more different flowering plants associated with the season. Some of them also have symbolism unique to themselves and are hot favourites too.
2013 Chinese New Year Day falls on 10 February. Traditionally, celebrations span over a period of 15 days and will end on 24 February.
© 2011 pinkytoky