With lunar New Year fast approaching, people have begun decorating their homes with lucky flowers and bonsai to bring good fortune for the New Year, which makes flower markets extremely busy and crowded. Phalaenopsis, Scarlet Sage, Pachira macrocarpa, Kumquat trees and Cat-tail willows are the plants most commonly used to spruce up the house. Let us introduce you to these symbols of good luck and happiness.
Pachira macrocarpa -- a symbol of wealth and prosperity
PHOTOS: TAIPEI TIMES
發財樹 -- 招財納福
Although Pachira macrocarpa (the so-called "fa-cai" tree in Chinese) looks plain and simple on the outside, its vibrant, fat, thick leaves represent wealth and bountiful harvest. Because it is easy to grow, Pachira macrocarpa is a favorite for many people. During the New Year, farmers will fasten red ribbons to it to make it look more cheerful and festive. Whether in your house or office, it's always a good idea to put out a vase of Pachira macrocarpa to bring you great wealth and prosperity.
Phalaenopsis -- queen of the orchids
蝴蝶蘭 -- 蘭花之后
One of the orginal habitats of the Phalaenopsis, Taiwan has been dubbed the "kingdom of Phalaenopsis." Therefore, the festive Phalaenopsis is widely regarded as the flower most representative of Taiwan. Phalaenops -- ``the queen of the orchids'' -- looks elegant and graceful, signifying nobility, good luck and happiness. It is always the most popular plant during the New Year as it lasts longer than most other flowers. It comes in a variety of colors for you to choose from, but pink Phalaenopsis is the most sought after. It is also considered a high-end gift for your friends and relatives.
Scarlet Sage -- firecracker flowers
一串紅 -- 貌似爆竹
Setting off firecrackers has always been regarded as the way to celebrate the New Year. But nowadays, if you don't have the chance to set off firecrackers, there is an alternative. Buying Scarlet Sage bonsai, which look like firecrackers, is great to decorate your house. Scarlet Sage (scientific name: Salvia splendens) comes from Brazil and looks just like a festive red firecracks. It is red, vibrant and passionate, and a chain of its petals symbolizes a string of happiness. It will definitely create a lively and cheerful atmosphere in your home.
Kumquat -- a symbol of good luck
金桔 -- 大吉大利
With its lovely appearance and delightful orange color, the Kumquat,which sounds like "luck" in Chinese, is thought of as a symbol of good luck. Kumquat trees grow lots of small fruit and are a sign of an abundant harvest. In addition to using it as a decoration, you can do lots of other things with Kumquat as well, such as add it to food or tea. These features usually make Kumquat bonsai a hot item during the New Year.
Yin-liu (Cat-tail willow) -- a symbol of great wealth
銀柳 -- 財運吉祥
Because its flower looks just like a cat's tail, Yin-liu is also called "Cat-tail willow." Yin-liu sounds like "silver coin" in Chinese, and it is regarded as one of the best plants to decorate your house with. It is the most common flower in everyone's house, and symbolizes wealth and good luck. If you fasten red ribbons or red paper to it, it will radiate a festive aura and bring you prosperity. Yin-liu can grow in cold weather and be kept indoors for a long time, and thus is quite popular during the Lunar New Year.
In additons to these plants and bonsai, tulips and gladiolus are also popular. While ``tulip'' sounds like "discovering treasure" in Chinese, gladiolus has the nickname of "fu-lan" which means it will fend off ill fourtune and bring good luck. Pineapple (a symbol of prosperity), lucky bambo (a mark of advancement) and radishes (a sign of good luck) are also favored plants. If you haven't put a lucky plant in your place, get to it!
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