Chinese New Year also known as Lunar New Year, is one of the most significant holidays in China and the rest of Asian world. This 15 days long festival occurs between January and February and this year starts on February, 19 2015. This beautiful festival is the time to welcome longevity, wealth and prosperity. During the holiday Chinese people spend time with their dear ones, honor elderly members of the family, pray, and exchange Chinese New Year Gifts.
Symbols of Chinese New Year
Flowers – Flowers play an important part in New Year’s celebration in China. Two flowers in particular that are often associated with Chinese New Year are the plum blossom that symbolizes courage and hope and the water narcissus signifying good luck and fortune.
Color – The main color of the holiday is red. Red symbolizes fire, which according to a legend can scare away bad luck, bring happiness and success. During Chinese New Year celebration people prefer wearing red clothes, decorate their homes in red and gold (the other significant color in Chinese culture), and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes that are believed to ward off evil spirits.
Tangerines & Oranges – Tangerines in Chinese sounds similar to the word “luck” and orange sounds like the Chinese word for “wealth”. Through the play of words, the Chinese is associating the gift of orange and tangerine as having an abundance of happiness and prosperity. The bright orange color of the fruits also symbolizes ‘gold’, hence it has an auspicious meaning to bring in good luck and wealth.
Fireworks – The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in an ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten away evil spirits.
Popular Gifts for Chinese New Year
Money plant –
The traditional Chinese families would love to receive the bamboo plant (also known as money plant) believed to be a good omen which brings happiness and prosperity. The bamboo is a strong plant that symbolizes endurance. Its branches are twisted to avoid the negative vibes and bring in positivity. Exchanging money plant with family, friends, and business colleagues is considered very auspicious in Chinese tradition.
Fruit – The fruit which is one of the most popular during Lunar New Year is known as “ong lai” (pineapple). Pineapple is the fruit of welcoming good luck and wealth, it signifies prosperity and makes a wonderful gift for any recipient. Other traditional fruit of the festival are tangerines and oranges, that symbolize happiness and abundance.
Flowers/Peach Blossoms –
Peach is known as ‘tao’ in Chinese and it signifies romance and relationships. Also exchanged during Valentine’s Day, this beautiful token of love will bring your dear recipient good fortune.
Lasting relationships are also believed to happen when you give or receive peach blossoms. Flowers in general represent rebirth and new growth and are considered a great personal or business gift for Chinese New Year.
Gift Baskets – Gift baskets for Chinese New Year are plentiful and usually contain all the main symbols associated with the holiday. Beautifully decorated with fresh blossoms, oranges, lucky bamboo and other tokens of good fortune they also serve as great home decor items during the festival.
Spread happiness, luck and longevity by giving traditional Chinese gifts to all your loved ones. If you have friends, relatives or business associates in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand or anywhere else don’t loose the opportunity to show your care and respect for the traditions by sending wonderful Lunar New Year gifts.