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Flower power - Plants for Chinese New Year

Decorate your home with these auspicious plants for Chinese New Year.
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - February 4, 2010
By: Goh Mei Yi
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Flower power - Plants for Chinese New Year

Florists and nurseries expect to see their sales blossom this month as Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day. Both occasions call for plants and flowers, although of different kinds and for distinct reasons.

Most Chinese families decorate the house with flowering plants and other floral decorations during this festive season as plants represent rebirth and new growth while flowers symbolise wealth and a high position in one’s career in Chinese culture. Here are some popular plants that symbolise good luck, prosperity and happiness.

Celosia: This plant is called “feng wei”, or phoenix tail in Chinese. The Chinese consider the phoenix as an auspicious creature, so this plant is expected to bring good luck all year round.

Kalanchoe: Its Chinese name, “wan zi qian hong”, means thousands of colours and is auspicious, with its red, pink, orange or yellow flowers.

Kumquat: This, together with the mandarin orange and “four-season lime” or “si ji ju”, is a symbol of wealth and good fortune. The orange fruit is pronounced as “kum” in Cantonese, literally meaning “gold”.

Peach blossom: In Chinese culture, the peach is a symbol of longevity, growth and prosperity. If your peach blossoms flower during the New Year period, it is a sign that you can expect good fortune in the year ahead.

Pussy willow: Known as “yin liu” in Mandarin, it sounds similar to the word “yin liang” or money. Having this plant represents the invitation of abundant luck and prosperity into the home.

Plum blossom: These auspicious flowers signify reliability and perseverance in Chinese culture. The plum blossom is a symbol of winter as well as a harbinger of spring.

Zamioculcus zamiifolia: Called the “jing qian shu” in Mandarin or “golden money plant”. The name comes from the shape of its leaves which represent gold ingots used in the olden days in China.

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