Chinese New Year is an exciting time to spend in Singapore, filled with luck and tradition. Also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year is a 7-day holiday celebrated in January or February each year. Traditions are important in Chinese culture, especially when it comes to CNY decorations: colours, plants, fruits and flowers. According to local custom, these play a significant role in promoting wealth, longevity, good fortune and overall, a good year ahead. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 10 flowers and fruits that become popular during Chinese New Year.

1. Orchids

Orchids are probably the most popular Chinese New Year flower. In China, flower markets are filled with the beautiful flower, featuring an incredible array of varieties and colours. The reason behind orchids being so popular comes down to the meaning associated with them: they represent fertility, abundance, refinement, innocence, purity and also luxury. So no matter if they come in a bouquet, pots or a different arrangement, orchids are one of the most valuable gifts you can give during Chinese New Year festivities.

2. Peonies

Peonies are also really popular flowers when it comes to Chinese New Year celebrations, especially the red ones. They are known as the ‘flowers of riches and honour’, and are associated with innocence, peace, affection, feminine beauty and charm.

3. Plum blossoms

Plum blossoms often blossom and thrive in the cold winter, which gives this tree a powerful meaning of forbearance, endurance, courage, perseverance and reliability - all very important qualities of success in life. In addition, the striking pink flower itself is considered very beautiful and delicate. The tree also has a characteristic, pure fragrance that is very appealing.

4. Peach blossoms

The peach flowers are also quite popular during Chinese New Year celebration. They symbolise romance, growth and prosperity. Peach blossoms are especially popular amongst young, single people who are seeking luck in love for the forthcoming year. They are usually placed in expensive vases as decoration. In addition, the peach tree is also important, as it’s considered sacred in China.

5. Narcissus or Water Fairy Flowers

Narcissus or Water Fairy Flowers is one of the most revered flowers during Chinese New Year. Their significance is tied to good fortune, luck and prosperity. This is not all they are famous for, though - Narcissus also serve as a popular, delicate and beautiful decoration, as the fragrant flowers grow in a shallow dish of water with pebbles.

6. Cattail Willow (Pussy Willow)

Cattail willow’s appearance has everything to do with the meaning it carries. According to tradition, the plant’s joints on it stems symbolises breakthroughs, prosperity and improvements, all good omens for the new year that’s coming. The cattail willow is generally paired with peach blossoms in a vase.

7. Oranges

Fruits are also important in New Year’s tradition, especially oranges. They are by far the most popular fruit and tree (known as ‘the lucky tree bearing fruits’), as they symbolise abundance, happiness and good fortune. In addition, oranges are round-shaped and bright in colour, like the sun, which means they align with the yang principle (something positive). Miniature versions of the fruit are quite popular, especially to give as a gift and can be seen in pots around flower markets. The fuller the tree with fruit, the better.

Traditionally, the fruit also plays an important role in people’s houses - one that goes beyond being decoration. Mandarin oranges are placed next to children’s pillow, accompanied by a red envelope. This is to bring good luck and fortune to the child. They can also be placed inside the home’s rice container, in order to bring good fortune to the whole family.

8. Pomelos

Either in their green or yellow colours, pomelos are very popular in meals during the Chinese New Year celebrations. In addition to being used in cooking, they also symbolise good luck and family unity.

9. Grapes, plums and jujube

Grapes, plums as jujubes (a type of date) serve as holy offerings in the Buddhist temples. They are also used for cooking and as a highly regarded gift, as much like oranges, they symbolise wealth, prosperity, gold, fertility and good luck.

10. Cow’s udder

They very unique-looking fruits symbolise happiness, prosperity and most importantly, longevity of the family. This is because the fruit’s protrusions are meant to represent family generations. And because the fruit has 5 of them, this represent 5 generation living harmoniously.

Make your Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore be as memorable as you can with these blooms and fruits! As you’re aware by now, these are a huge part of the tradition, as it represents good values and virtues for the year to come. We hope this list makes it easier for you to prepare. And remember, you can always find some of the best flower arrangements here at Gift Flowers.