Have you ever wondered why flowers make the best gift for Chinese New Year (CNY)? Flowers play a significant role during Chinese New Year, and this is due to the symbolism they carry. Not only are they captivating and pleasing to the eyes, but they also bring a host of benefits. In this journal entry, we are unveiling the luckiest blooms for CNY and their importance in Chinese culture. Happy reading!
Why is Chinese New Year Celebrated?
Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is the most important celebration among the Chinese and is one of the major festivals in some East Asian countries. Customs and traditions vary depending on the region, but ultimately, all share the same theme: bidding farewell to the old year and welcoming the new year with luck and prosperity.
Credits to Humphrey Muleba
The date for CNY changes each year on any day between January 21st to February 20th. As for 2024, Chinese New Year falls on Saturday, February 10th. Every year is represented by one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs, and this year is the year of the Dragon.
Rooted in folklore, Chinese New Year is a celebration of new beginnings, which is fitting as it is also dubbed the Spring Festival. Think blooming flowers and picture-perfect blue skies. The ‘start of spring’, according to the Gregorian Calendar, begins between January 21st to February 20th, which is when CNY is usually celebrated as we mentioned previously.
Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated as a time to honour deities and ancestors. But nowadays, CNY focuses more on the importance of reunions and sharing blessings and abundance with loved ones.
How To Celebrate Chinese New Year
The Chinese believe that the colour red is an auspicious colour, making it the primary colour of Chinese New Year. Red denotes prosperity, good luck, joy, and vitality. Hence why you will see a medley of red shades everywhere during this festive season.
Gift-giving is a common practice during CNY where people give out money in red envelopes and other thoughtful goodies like CNY-themed gift hampers and flowers to send their best wishes. There will also be exciting performances and parades, often accompanied by people in traditional clothes, colourful dragons and lions and fireworks and firecrackers, which are all said to ward off or ‘chase away’ malicious spirits.
Credits to Tong Su
Besides donning gorgeous red-coloured attire, the Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year by hanging lanterns around the house and decorating their walls, doors and windows with red paper couplets and paintings of the niánhuà (年画). These decor pieces are not just for decorative purposes. They are said to fend off evil spirits and bad luck while some are used to channel good fortune, harmony, health and many other positive affirmations.
Cleaning is also part of the Chinese New Year tradition. Doing so is said to remove any bad luck and negative energies. However, one must not clean on Chinese New Year itself as it is believed that you are basically ‘cleaning’ away the luck of the new year.
Sprucing up homes with plants and flowers is revered to bring luck and prosperity. This is because flowers are believed to bring fortune, according to the popular Chinese proverb 花開富貴 huā kāi fù guì or ‘blossom flowers bring wealth’ in English - which brings us to our next point.
Symbolism of Flowers in Chinese Culture
Apart from their ethereal beauty, each flower holds a special significance. The Chinese believe that flowers are symbols of prosperity and good fortune and bringers of abundance. Even their mere presence can attract positive energy and improve moods.
The popular Chinese proverb huā kāi fù guì (花開富貴) also implies that good things happen when flowers bloom, and it is often used to express the idea that hard work and diligence will eventually lead to success. The proverb also suggests that nature can inspire us to achieve our goals and aspirations through its meaningful symbolism.
Incorporating flowers and plants into your CNY decor can not only beautify your home and invite luck and wealth but they are also proven to help purify the air, keeping the room feeling fresh and clean.
The Luckiest Blooms For Chinese New Year
Perhaps, the most popular luck-bringing plant during Chinese New Year is the tangerine or kumquat tree. These clusters of orangey-yellow fruits resemble “a tree of gold”, making them an auspicious gift for CNY. But there are other lucky blooms to boost your luck besides this citrusy delight and we have narrowed them down to eight of the best!
Plum blossoms typically come to life in the late winter through early spring. This beautiful pink flower is often associated with perseverance and strength. Thanks to their admirable resilience to bloom even in the winter season. As such, they are known as the harbinger of spring and represent the changing of seasons. Plum blossoms also represent prosperity and are believed to ward off malicious spirits.
Credits to Yamasa N
Revered by the Chinese for their unique beauty and sweet symbolism, peonies are not called the Queen of Flowers for nothing. These large, fluffy flowers are symbolic of love, prosperity, wealth, beauty and fertility. But red peonies are particularly auspicious for Chinese New Year celebrations as they embody the themes of abundance and luck.
Orchids, specifically the phalaenopsis orchid variety, are undoubtedly the most popular flower choice for the Chinese New Year. Treasured for their decorative appeal and profound symbolism, these fluttery blooms symbolise good fortune, love, abundance, fertility, longevity and luxury. In Feng Shui, phalaenopsis orchids are said to help enhance one's ‘chi’.
Credits to Mathias Reding
If you want to wish someone a long, happy life this CNY, send them a beautiful bunch of yellow chrysanthemums! These pompom-shaped blooms attract prosperity, wealth and longevity through their lively yellow blossoms. Chrysanthemums also represent health and well-being as they are commonly used in traditional Chinese Medicine and teas.
Credits to Jill Burrow
Another crowd-favourite for CNY celebrations is the pussy willow - also known as catkins. Pussy willow is a long-lasting plant that signals the beginning of spring and is often associated with growth and bountiful fortunes in Chinese culture. Featuring fluffy buds that come in a variety of colours, pussy willows make for a timeless centrepiece that attracts joy, wealth, harmony and luck for the coming year.
Credits to Kelly Sikkema
Delicate and fragrant, this beautiful flower is also known as the ‘Water Fairy Flower’ and it is considered to be one of the most auspicious flowers for Chinese New Year. The Narcissus flower will invite good fortune and prosperity into your home through its sweet aroma and dainty blossoms.
Credits to Karolina Grabowska
Anthuriums or flamingo lilies boast heart-shaped blooms in striking colours. In Chinese New Year celebrations, red anthuriums, represent love, prosperity, wealth and good luck while their bright red shade repels evil spirits and draws positive energy. Due to their unique appearance, their inclusion in a CNY setting is symbolic of open-heartedness and fosters a welcoming environment for guests.
Credits to Bloomscape
Believe it or not, the lucky bamboo is a type of tropical water lily. It is bent and twisted into many shapes, and as such, it symbolises strength, flexibility, and resilience in Chinese culture. However, its meaning varies depending on the number of stalks used in an arrangement. In Feng Shui, the lucky bamboo plant is thought to bring harmony and balance wherever it is placed. This lucky plant is often embellished with red or gold ribbons and other lucky ornaments.
Credits to Proflowers
It is no surprise that flowers make auspicious gifts for Chinese New Year. So, why not go the extra mile this year with luck-bringing gifts from Mother Nature herself? Usher in the Year of the Dragon and share the gift of flowers this Chinese New Year with lucky flowers from our exclusive CNY Collection.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team here or on our socials. We would also love to see you with our CNY floral arrangements so do tag us in your posts at @lunafloral.my with the hashtag #CNYWithLuna for a chance to get featured.