What is Chinese New Year?
This Saturday, January 28, is the start of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster. Traditionally, the Chinese New Year is celebrated for an entire week. Filled with family, food and relaxation, it's a celebration unlike any other in the world!
With the Chinese New Year - also known as the Spring Festival or the start of the Lunar New Year - there are several fruits that are eaten as part of traditions dating back millennia, and each holding their own specific meaning. Fruits and flowers are a very special part of an already special celebration. At Jungle Jim's, we're proud to offer some of the best produce around - even more so when we know it will be used at times such as these. Take a look at some of the common fruits eaten for Chinese New Year and what they're eaten for, then stop by to pick some up for yourself. Whether you celebrate or not, a little good luck and happiness is always a good thing.
Oranges — Abundance and Happiness
About oranges, ChinaHighlights.com had this to say:
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.
The orange looks like the sun and is aligned with the yang (positive) principle, thus being a highly auspicious symbol of abundance and happiness.
Potted shrubs are ideal for indoor decorations during Chinese New Year, and are available in all flower markets. They represent 'the lucky tree bearing fruits'.
It is traditional to place mandarin oranges along with a red envelope next to children's pillows in every Chinese household to bring them good fortune. These are also placed in the family's rice container to bring good blessings to the family as well as for gifting.
Plums - Good Luck and Prosperity
About Plums & Grapes, ChinaHighlights.com says:
This group of fruits is symbolic of good luck, wealth, fortune, gold, prosperity and fertility. These serve as holy offerings in Buddhist temples and are also used in cooking, not to mention gifting among relatives.
Pomelos — Good Luck and Family Unity
About pomelos, ChinaHighlights.com goes on to say:
This is an important fruit whether it's green or yellow (ripened). Pomelos are used in cooking when in season, which is right before new year. They are also acknowledged to bring good luck to the household.
It is common practice to decorate the home with a single or a pair of pomelos. A pair is better because as they say — 'all good things come in twos'. This fruit is also symbolic of family unity.
Grapes - Good Luck and Prosperity
Grapes are meant to represent and bring about the same good luck and prosperity as plums, as are jujube (a type of date) and kumquats!
Do you celebrate Chinese New Year? What are some of your favorite traditions?