Chinese New Year has become more popular in recent years. Although “Asian quarters” of large cities—such as Chinatown in San Francisco—have always held Chinese New Year celebrations, the holiday was not well-known in the United States. That is now changing.
Chinese New Year provides us another reason to give plants, flowers, and gifts. After the year we’ve had, we can all use another excuse for gift-giving. If you plan on celebrating Chinese New Year this year, consider gifting one of the plants and flowers described below. These lucky plants are sure to get you off to a good start this new year.
What is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year is a traditional Chinese holiday. It is also called the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. Chinese New Year is an extremely important holiday in China and the Asian countries with strong Chinese influence.
The Chinese New Year celebration varies from year to year because it is based on the lunisolar Chinese Calendar. Typically, the holidays occur during the second new moon after the winter solstice. The actual way the holiday’s date is calculated is quite complicated. For those of us in the west, it is probably easier to say that the Chinese New Year will occur sometime between January 21 and February 20. In 2021, Chinese New Year is Friday, February 12.
In mainland China, workers get a full week off for Chinese New Year. Hong Kong provides three days off, as do many other Asian countries. Many traditions and festivities are surrounding the holiday. The main tradition is the reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. It is also still common to pass out red envelopes, which usually contain money. Gift exchanges, fireworks, and parties are also common during the Chinese New Year.
Important for our discussion of the luckiest plants and flowers for Chinese New Year are the traditional colors. Red, yellow, and gold are all common colors during Chinese New Year. It is best to avoid white, black, and blue, as they are associated with death and funerals.
Traditionally, Chinese customs are extremely superstitious about numbers. So, if you plan on giving a flower arrangement as a gift, pay attention to the number of blooms. Eight is the luckiest number in China. Stay away from any bouquet that includes the number four. The pronunciation of “four” in Mandarin is extremely close to the pronunciation of “death.”
Lucky Plants and Flowers
Now that you know a little bit more about Chinese New Year and its traditions, let’s discuss some of the best plant and flower gifts. You want to give flowers and plants associated with luck during Chinese New Year. Below we will describe the luckiest plants and flowers around.
As we mentioned above, red is an important color during Chinese New Year. It symbolizes good fortune and prosperity to the Chinese. It's hard to find a redder flower than the anthurium. An anthurium’s flowers are glossy and bright red. The red is contrasted with the deep green on the anthurium’s leaves. Few plants have such a dramatic look. Plus, anthuriums clean the air in your home, which makes them a doubly great gift.
If you are looking to gift a live anthurium this Chinese New Year, then check out our Bali-inspired anthurium plant.
Depending on where you live in the United States, you may actually be used to bamboo. In the United States, bamboo is an invasive species. It is hard to completely remove from a location and can spread up to thirty feet. However, bamboo is also famous for being the preferred food of pandas.
The bamboo you find at Chinese New Year celebrations is thankfully not an invasive species. It is actually not from the bamboo family at all. This plant is called lucky bamboo. The plant looks similar to bamboo and is said to bring luck during Chinese New Year. Just don’t try to feed it to a panda!
Chrysanthemums come in many colors and color combinations. They are an extremely popular flower all year long. Chrysanthemums (or mums) are also said to represent wealth and prosperity, both of which are appropriate sentiments for Chinese New Year’s.
Jade is a typical plant gift in traditional Chinese culture. The jade plant is said to represent good fortune and luck. It is originally from South Africa but is today one of the most popular bonsai plants.
It is extremely easy to care for a jade plant. They are actually a type of succulent. All the recipient has to do is water the plant semi-regularly, and it will be fine. For an inexperienced plant owner, a jade plant is ideal.
Money trees are said to be lucky and bring wealth to their owner. It is easy to remember this meaning, as money trees include “money” in their very name!
In China, there is a tradition that says the money tree is a holy tree. Money trees have been found in ancient Chinese tombs from the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). The money tree remains one of the most popular gifts during Chinese New Year. Sometimes these trees are made of branches of pine or cypress with decorations (similar to the Christmas tree tradition). You can also give someone a live money tree plant.
Like jade, money trees are very easy to care for. You just need to keep it indoors and in temperate conditions.
A final lucky plant to gift on Chinese New Year’s is the orchid. There are thousands of species of orchid. Although they have a reputation for being a tropical flower, orchids can actually be found all over the world. Orchids are another extremely popular Chinese New Year plants. These flowers represent fertility and abundance, hence their popularity during a holiday focused on renewal.
Although they have a reputation for being a hard-to-care-for plant, orchids are actually fairly easy to grow. Make sure to follow our care instructions for your orchid and keep it in indirect sunlight. That's all you need to keep the orchid looking great all year long!
Chinese New Year Gifts
Other flower gifts would be appropriate during this holiday. Just make sure that you don’t give any flowers in the number four, as that number is very unlucky in the Chinese tradition.
The number one gift on any holiday is the bouquet. Bouquets are easy to customize. They also come in many shapes and sizes. You can make your own flower arrangement or choose one from our flower shop. The opportunities are endless. Everyone loves a special bouquet during a holiday, and Chinese New Year is no different
If giving a bouquet is not your thing, then try a live plant. Live plants are a little bit more care, so make sure the recipient is up for a living thing before you send the gift. Yet, there are easily cared for plants like succulents and the money tree, which make great Chinese New Year’s gifts.
Finally, if you really want to go big for the Chinese New Year, give the gift of our flower subscription. You have a variety of plans to choose from. Monthly, weekly, and bi-weekly plans are available. You can pick an all-rose plan or go for one of our specially-curated bouquets.
Although you do not get to pick the flowers that go into your BloomsyBox subscription, you are guaranteed to love what we pick. All of our participating farms employ environmentally-friendly practices and ship directly to your home. For a gift that keeps on giving this year, give a loved one a flower subscription!