Thursday, 19 January 2017
FLOWERS AND BLOSSOMS FOR CNY
Flowers have enormous symbolism and the Chinese language's endless opportunities for puns and word play are demonstrated in the flowers used. Living rooms are decorated with vases of blossoms, peach being the most auspicious. Arriving in spring, they symbolise life, growth and prosperity. Regarded as the strongest defence against evil, peach blossoms were once placed above main doors for protection, and peach blooming at New Year signifies a fortunate year ahead.
The peony is the 'Flower of Riches and Honour' and the emblem of love and affection, as well as being a symbol for feminine beauty. The bright red peony is particularly auspicious, bringing luck and good fortune. The use of Kumquats or Gam Gat Sue is a play on words. The word Gam rhymes with the Chinese word for gold, whilst Gat rhymes with the word for luck. The tiny green leaves of this plant symbolise wealth as the word Lu (green) rhymes with the Chinese word for wealth. Finally, the shape of the small orange is a symbol of unity and perfection.