Born and raised in Malaysia, Mazlan is proud of his Malaysian and Asian heritage. He likes to write about its culture and current issues.
Do you know that tangerine and orange will bring in good luck and wealth?
Chinese New Year Celebration
Chinese culture is rich with symbolism. This is especially so during the Chinese New Year celebration, which is associated with many symbols and customs.
Despite the fact that some Chinese, especially the youngsters, have adapted to a more 'western' lifestyle, the old traditions and customs are still practiced, albeit adapted to the present day's environment.
Chinese New Year Symbols
Certain colors, fruits, flowers, animals, actions, and sounds are examples of things that have special symbolic meaning.
To have an auspicious Chinese New Year, the Chinese will adorn their houses with these symbols.
Why Tangerine and Orange Are Part of Chinese New Year Symbols?
Tangerine and orange are some of these auspicious Chinese New Year symbols.
Tangerine in the Chinese language sound similar to the word "luck" and orange sounds like the Chinese word for "wealth". Through the play of words, the Chinese are associating the gift of tangerine and orange as the abundance of happiness and prosperity.
The fruit's bright orange color also symbolizes 'gold'. This is an auspicious symbol of good luck and wealth, an important factor for the Chinese new year celebration.
So, you will find tangerine and orange fruits displayed in houses, offices, and shops to usher good fortune for the occupants.
It is also served to guests and given as gifts to family members and friends.
Tangerine and Orange Trees
Besides displaying tangerine and orange fruits, displaying the potted plant is another common way to usher in prosperity.
They are normally placed in the doorway or within the common area of the main reception lobby of shops or offices, or within the living room.
Miniature Orange Trees
This potted plant usually comes in the form of miniature orange trees.
Miniature orange tree for Chinese New Year is mainly cultivated in China. It is then exported to countries with large Chinese populations who buy them for the celebration.
Orange Tree Decorations
These ornamental orange trees are very popular and prices vary according to the quality, type, and tree sizes. It comes in heights between 1.5 feet (0.45 meters) to 7.9 feet (2.meters).
It looks nice and you might be tempted to eat the fruit. Don't, as they are cultivated as decorative items and are infused with the high dosage of fertilizer and fruit inducing hormone.
Buying Potted Orange Tree
The Chinese normally buy the tree in pairs as they believed it will double their wealth and prosperity.
The plant is 'engineered' to bloom and ripe during the Chinese new year season. But there may be a few that ripe too early for the celebration. It is important that you choose trees that are healthy and loaded with many semi-ripe oranges. You don't buy trees with fully ripe fruits that will not last for the two-week celebration period. Buy a tree that blooms gloriously over a one-month period.
As mentioned earlier, the tree was given an overdose of fertilizer and fruit inducement hormones, so it will bear lots of fruits. These extra fruit weights can be too much for the tree branches. Hence, they will be tied neatly for support and to create a nice decorative/aesthetic look.
Water it daily but do not overwater them. If the potted plant is left for a long period without water, the dryness can lead to flower buds and fruit to drop. They love the sun, so place them in the sunniest location within your premises. Or take them out for at least an hour of full 'sunlight bath'.
For a change, try this Coconut and Tangerine Salad and Fresh Tangerine Cake as part of your Chinese New Year dishes.
Chinese New Year Traditions
So, continue this Chinese New Year tradition and display the tangerine and orange trees in your homes and offices to bring in wealth and prosperity!
Read Other Articles on Chinese Cultures and Festivals
Read other articles on Chinese Cultures and Festivals here:
- Chinese New Year Celebration in Malaysia
- Chinese Qing-Ming Festival is now On-Line
- Chinese Zodiac Story : A Bedtime Story
- Ushering in Year of Dragon - Chinese New Year 2012
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Mazlan A
Gloria Velleley SYDNEY Australia on January 23, 2020:
Preparing the Chinese 'red packets' for my Eurasian grandsons.
Since the passing of 'gong-gong' and 'popo', I have taken over this Chinese tradition to give them crisp new $'s. Family is Cantonese.
Kung Hei Fat Choi. Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 2020.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on February 27, 2012:
Hi sgbrown, good to hear from you again. Next time you visit a Chinese family for the Chinese New Year Celebration, bring your unmarried children or grandchildren along, they will get oranges and the ang-pow as well(red packet with money)!!
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on February 27, 2012:
I found this hub very interesting. My husband and I were invited to join a Chinese family for their new year celebration. Were were given tangerines and told that they were for good luck and prosperity. We didn't realize at the time how much meaning they held. Thank you for sharing your information here. Voted up and useful! Have a prosperous day! :)
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on January 23, 2012:
Thanks Riviera Rose for dropping by. Chinese New Year is today, so Kung Hei Fat Choi to you too.
Riviera Rose from South of France on January 23, 2012:
Loved this hub, especially as I used to live in Hong Kong and remember all the miniature tangerine and orange trees outside people's doors. I have some of my own now (I'm in France) but had lost sight of the symbolism, so it was great to be reminded. Kung Hei Fat Choi to you!
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on January 03, 2012:
Thanks Angie for dropping by. Check out nursery nearest your house if they sell the trees, nice to know if such trees are exported to UK.
Angie Jardine from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ... on January 03, 2012:
Fascinating hub, Greatstuff ... I never realised this. I don't know that I'll ever need the knowledge but I've filed it away in my memory just in case ... lol.