Saturday, 31 January 2015


For good luck and prosperity


A small pot of pretty bright red flowers is named “choy sun yeh” (God of Prosperity) in Cantonese.

A bunch of green bamboo, which resemble a fatter asparagus, is called “chuen wan chok” (luck changing bamboo).

These were among the hot items on sale at Happy Pots Ent along Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Ipoh, last Saturday afternoon.

Its owner Bernard Liew and assistant, who wanted to be known as Yo, were kept busy serving customers and answering my questions all at the same time.

Liew said the most sought after Chinese New Year decorations were the bamboo and “kam kat” (golden lime) in Cantonese.

“The bamboo brings good luck while kam kat is for prosperity,” he quipped.

For wealth: This plant is known as “chin tup chin” (piles of cash).

Yes, good tidings are a must for the lunar new year celebrations which will start on Feb 19 this year.

The plants do have their scientific names but I guess the names with good tidings are more popular and their selling point!

And shape also matters where good tidings are concerned.

The bamboo, with several spirals on top, signifies many smooth turnings to move up in life.

Besides, the bamboo is strong and thrives well and is easy to look after.

“It only needs water and thrives well indoors,” said a customer who was buying several bunches of the bamboo for the new year.

“Hopefully, this year will be better.

Well-stocked: The festive air is evident at nurseries like this one, which has an abundance of kam kat (golden lime) plants.

“Business has been slow since school reopened,” said the owner of a cake shop in Chemor.

The Year of the Horse, which has been a rather rough ride for many, is coming to a close in less than a month.

The Chinese belief and hope is that every new year is better than the year before, and this upcoming celebration is definitely something to look forward to.

The Chinese zodiac for the coming year is sheep or “yang” (in Chinese), which is a tame animal that symbolises peace.

The word “yang” also rhymes with the Chinese phrase “xi xi yang yang” (good luck and prosperity all over) and this has made the celebration even more significant.

Also, some people prefer to call it the Year of the Goat because the word goat rhymes with good, and so the goat year is also a good year!

Meanwhile, at a nursery in Gunung Rapat, Ipoh, the owner was seen busy promoting two types of plants, “chin tup chin” (piles of cash) and “fat choy chuk” (prosperity bamboo) in Cantonese.

She has also decorated the plants with red ribbons to give it a festive touch.

The leaves of the “chin tup chin” grow in tiers and the plant resembles the shape of the traditional Chinese gold ingot.

“The plant comes in different sizes, and the smaller pots are suitable for display on shelves while the bigger ones are best for the garden,” she said.

The owner said sales was expected to pick up in the last week leading to the new year.


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