Chinese New Year 2023 – Flowers for the Year of Rabbit

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By Cindy Tang

Apart from lucky dishes, fruits and flowers are important parts of the Chinese New Year. Flowers and fruits hold special significance during Chinese New Year.

The Chinese calendar has 12 animals representing each year in the order of  Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.  This year the Chinese New Year 2023 starts Sunday, January 22nd, and celebrations continue until the Lantern Festival on February 5th, 2023.

Since 2023 is the  Year of the Rabbit, experts say that the year will be defined by this animal’s character. So consider relaxation, contemplation,  longevity, positivity, cautiousness, cleverness, and self-protection as themes for the year.

Here we’ve rounded up the top lucky flowers and fruits that are most often gifted and used as decorations at Chinese New Year. Perhaps celebrate how your life has been impacted by Chinese culture  – and bring in red decor and flowers. Or reach out to someone who celebrates if you personally don’t.  As we say at Flowerpowerdaily, no act of love is wasted and any reason to celebrate someone’s culture and beauty is fun.

1. Tangerine or Kumquat Tree — Wealth and Good Luck

Kumquat trees are a very popular plant displayed during the Chinese New Year holidays, especially in South China’s Cantonese-speaking regions of Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong, and Guangxi. Having a kumquat tree at home symbolizes a wish for both wealth and good luck.

In Cantonese and Mandarin, the name of the tree sounds like the word for ‘good luck’.

2. Pussy Willows – Growth and Prosperity

These are the buds on the willow plant and they look beautiful, almost like silk, giving out green shoots. This flower is a sign of growth and represents the coming of prosperity.

3. Lucky Bamboo — Strength

The lucky bamboo is the Chinese symbol for strength. It is usually bent, twisted and twirled into various shapes. The plant is decorated with red ribbons and lucky ornaments.

4. Orchids – Fertility and Abundance

During Chinese New Year, any flower market or shop will have abundant bouquets, pots, and arrangements of orchids – the variety and colors are limitless.

Orchids are delicate, beautiful, and elegant flowers in China, and they have long been considered to be symbolic of ‘many children or fertility and abundance. Orchids also signify refinement, luxury, and innocence. These flowers make for valuable gifts in this season.

5. Peach blossoms – Prosperity and Growth

Very popular around this time, these flowers as well as cherry blossoms are popular in decorations. Peach blossom symbolizes romance, prosperity, and growth. These are popular with single young people, looking for love.

6. Peonies – Richness and Peace

This is a beautiful flower that is associated with feminine beauty, innocence, affection, and charm. It is known as the ‘flower of riches and honor’. Red peonies are particularly auspicious.

7. Narcissus or Water Fairy Flowers – Good Fortune and Prosperity

This flower is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity and has a unique delicate appearance. One of the most auspicious flowers in Chinese New Year, they can grow in a shallow dish of water and pebbles, and they look and smell lovely.

8. Flamingo Lily — Prosperity

Red or pink flamingo lilies are welcomed by people for Chinese New Year. It is considered an auspicious flower and symbolizes prosperity. With blossoms shaped like little hearts, these flowers are perfect for Valentine’s Day too. This flower is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity and has a unique delicate appearance. One of the most auspicious flowers in Chinese New Year, they can grow in a shallow dish of water and pebbles, and they look and smell lovely.

9. Plum Blossoms – Endurance and Courage

These bright pink flowers symbolize perseverance and reliability – two traits essential to being successful in life. Very common around this time of the year in parks and gardens. This is one of the most important symbolic flowers for the Chinese. It represents endurance and courage. The plum, along with orchid (purity), bamboo (uprightness), and chrysanthemum (humility), constitute ‘the four nobles’.

10. Oranges – Abundance and Happiness

Oranges are very popular and from weeks before Spring Festival, one would see potted plants with miniature oranges (they are real, and may also be Kumquat trees) blossoming.

11. Apples –  Harmony and Peace

In Chinese culture, the word for apple, “ping guo”, is a homophone for the word “ping”, meaning peace or tranquility, so an apple symbolizes a wish for peace. Green apple represents money. While the red apple symbolizes prosperity and abundance.

Gotham Florist

12. Any Red Flower

Florists recognize that the color red is often linked to the Chinese New Year. Any bouquet of peonies, or these above-mentioned flowers are often part of the decor. Red is considered the color of luck. Once the new year arrives, new red outfits are worn to visit relatives and friends and to exchange blessings and gifts. During these visits, children will get red paper envelopes filled with cash notes which many believe will drive bad luck away and bring in good fortune.