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Tangerine and Orange - Chinese New Year Symbols - Tangerine Recipe

Updated on January 20, 2018
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Born and raised in Malaysia, Mazlan is proud of his Malaysian and Asian heritage and likes to share its mysteries, culture & current issues.

Do you know that tangerine and orange will bring in good luck and wealth?

Really?

Tangerines & Oranges: Chinese New Year Symbols
Tangerines & Oranges: Chinese New Year Symbols | Source

Chinese New Year Celebration

Chinese culture is rich with symbolism. This is especially so during Chinese New Year celebration, which is associated with many symbols and customs.

Despite the fact that some Chinese, especially the youngsters, have adapted to a more 'western' lifestyle, the old traditions and customs are still practiced, albeit adapted to present day's environment.

Chinese New Year Symbols

Certain colors, fruits, flowers, animals, action, and sounds are examples of things that have special symbolic meaning.

Since Chinese New Year is a major festival celebrated by Chinese people, these symbols are even more significant. To make it auspicious, the Chinese will adorn their houses with these symbols.

Oranges are one of the fruits that are part of the Chinese New Year symbol.
Oranges are one of the fruits that are part of the Chinese New Year symbol. | Source

Why Tangerine and Orange Are Part of Chinese New Year Symbols?

Tangerine and orange are one of these auspicious Chinese New Year symbols.

Tangerine in Chinese language sound similar to the word "luck" and orange sounds like the Chinese word for "wealth". Through the play of words, the Chinese are associating the gift of tangerine and orange as the abundance of happiness and prosperity.

The fruit's bright orange color also symbolizes 'gold'. This is an auspicious symbol of good luck and wealth, an important factor for the Chinese new year celebration.

So, you will find tangerine and orange fruits displayed in houses, offices, and shops to usher good fortune for the occupants.

It is also served to guests and given as gifts to family members and friends.

Can you also display the Tangerine and Orange trees?

Besides displaying tangerine and orange fruits, displaying the potted plant is another common way to usher in the prosperity.

They are normally placed in the doorway or within the common area of the main reception lobby of shops or offices, or within the living room.

Tangerine and Orange: Miniature orange trees for the Chinese New Year celebration
Tangerine and Orange: Miniature orange trees for the Chinese New Year celebration | Source

Miniature Orange Trees

This potted plant usually comes in the form of miniature orange trees.

Miniature orange tree for Chinese New Year is mainly cultivated in China. It is then exported to countries with large Chinese populations who buy them for the Chinese New Year.

Orange Tree Decorations

These ornamental orange trees are very popular and prices vary according to the quality, type and tree sizes. It comes in heights between 1.5 feet (0.45 meter) to 7.9 feet (2.meters).

It looks nice and you might be tempted to eat the fruit. Don't, as they are cultivated as decorative items and are infused with the high dosage of fertilizer and fruit inducing hormone.

Tangerine and Orange: This orange tree is small enough for the reception counter, ideal for an office for the Chinese  New Year
Tangerine and Orange: This orange tree is small enough for the reception counter, ideal for an office for the Chinese New Year | Source
Hundreds of the half ripe orange plant waiting to be sold for the Chine New Year celebration
Hundreds of the half ripe orange plant waiting to be sold for the Chine New Year celebration | Source
Orange fruits and the branches tied securely, makes a n attractive plant for Chinese New Year
Orange fruits and the branches tied securely, makes a n attractive plant for Chinese New Year | Source

Buying Potted Orange Tree

The Chinese normally buy the tree in pairs as they believed it will double their wealth and prosperity.

The plant is 'engineered' to bloom and ripe during the Chinese new year season. But there may be a few that ripe too early for the celebration. It is important that you choose trees that are healthy and loaded with many semi-ripe oranges. You don't buy trees with fully ripe fruits that will not last for the two-week Chinese New Year celebration. Buy a tree that blooms gloriously over a one-month period.

As mentioned earlier, the tree was given an overdose of fertilizer and fruit inducement hormones, so it will bear lots of fruits. These extra fruit weights can be too much for the tree branches. The tree branches and fruits will, therefore, be tied neatly for support and to create a nice decorative/aesthetic look.

Water it daily but do not over water them. They love the sun, so place them in the sunniest location within your premises. Or take them out for at least an hour of full 'sunlight bath'.

If You Are Tempted to Buy One, Have a Look at Amazon

Tangerine Recipes

For a change, try this Coconut and Tangerine Salad and Fresh Tangerine Cake as part of your Chinese New Year dishes.

For Coconut & Tangerine Salad recipe, visit Martha Stewart food website and for the Fresh Tangerine Cake, visit food network website (recipe by Paula Deen).

Wishing You Lots of Wealth and Prosperity

Don't forget to display the tangerine and orange trees or your freshly baked Fresh Tangerine Cake in your homes and offices to bring wealth and prosperity!

Read other articles on Chinese Cultures and Festivals

© 2012 Mazlan

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    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi sgbrown, good to hear from you again. Next time you visit a Chinese family for the Chinese New Year Celebration, bring your unmarried children or grandchildren along, they will get oranges and the ang-pow as well(red packet with money)!!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I found this hub very interesting. My husband and I were invited to join a Chinese family for their new year celebration. Were were given tangerines and told that they were for good luck and prosperity. We didn't realize at the time how much meaning they held. Thank you for sharing your information here. Voted up and useful! Have a prosperous day! :)

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks Riviera Rose for dropping by. Chinese New Year is today, so Kung Hei Fat Choi to you too.

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      6 years ago from South of France

      Loved this hub, especially as I used to live in Hong Kong and remember all the miniature tangerine and orange trees outside people's doors. I have some of my own now (I'm in France) but had lost sight of the symbolism, so it was great to be reminded. Kung Hei Fat Choi to you!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks Angie for dropping by. Check out nursery nearest your house if they sell the trees, nice to know if such trees are exported to UK.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Fascinating hub, Greatstuff ... I never realised this. I don't know that I'll ever need the knowledge but I've filed it away in my memory just in case ... lol.

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