The Symbolism of Plants and Flowers Displayed During Chinese Celebrations

Lucky bamboo in a saucer on a table.

Lucky bamboo looks like bamboo, but it isn’t actually true bamboo that grows naturally. (Image: Solaris Images Inc via Dreamstime)

The Chinese frequently use plants and flowers to celebrate the holidays, including Chinese New Year. For the Chinese, all plants and flowers are symbolic.

What plants and flowers symbolize

Lucky bamboo: symbol of safety and peace

Lucky bamboo looks like bamboo, but it isn’t bamboo. The name is given because of its beautiful shape, and it’s easy to take care of. In addition, it symbolizes safety and peace.

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Plants and flowers, like peach blossoms, are always symbolic in China.
Peach blossoms are a symbol of love. (Image: Hockeyholics via Flicker)

Peach blossoms: symbol of spring and romantic love

Peach blossoms are the color of spring; their symbolism of romantic love makes them a top choice during the holidays. They are mainly kept in one’s living room or the lobby of buildings.

Gold-orange: symbol of fortune

Because the character for “gold” is a part of the Chinese name “gold-orange,” it symbolizes wealth and is often a popular gift during the Chinese New Year’s Festival. When choosing a plant, make sure the plant is fully covered in fruits to carry out the blessing in full.

Cat-tail willow and other plants in pots on a table.
Cat-tail willow symbolizes prosperity and is popular on the Lunar New Year in Taiwan. (Image: Julia Fu/Nspirement)

Cat-tail willow: symbol of prosperity

The cat-tail willow symbolizes improvements and breakthroughs because of the joints on its stems. It is frequently arranged in a large pot in a lobby paired with peach blossoms, making a beautiful match.

Chrysanthemum: symbol of blessings

Chrysanthemums blossom for quite a long time compared to other flowers; that is why they symbolize a long life filled with blessings.

Blooming yellow daffodils.
Because the flower’s fragrance spreads far and wide, daffodils symbolize good luck. (Image: Roxana Gonzalez via Dreamstime)

Daffodil: symbol of good luck

Because the flower’s fragrance spreads far and wide, daffodils are frequently dedicated to the Gods. They are thought to fight off evil spirits and bring good luck.

Pine trees: symbol of strong will

Pine trees can survive the cold weather; that is why they symbolize a character of strong will and forbearance.

Blooming orange orchids in a greenhouse.
Orchids are usually given when someone is promoted to a higher position. (Image: MKiryakova via Dreamstime)

Orchids: symbol of relationships and power

Orchids are usually given when promoted to a higher position because they symbolize good interpersonal relationships and higher power.

Tulip: symbol of nobleness

In the early days, tulips were planted specifically for the emperor’s family because they had the aura of mystery and nobleness.

Plum blossoms blooming on a tree.
Although plum blossoms are tiny, they spread a uniquely pure fragrance. (Image: Marcin Wos via Dreamstime)

Plum blossoms: symbol of forbearance

Although plum blossoms are tiny, they spread a uniquely pure fragrance. In addition, Plum blossom trees often blossom in the snow, making them a symbol of forbearance.

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