How Many Oranges for Chinese New Year?

One of these cherished customs is the exchange of mandarin oranges, which serve as tangible tokens of good fortune and blessings for the upcoming year. As families and friends gather to pay homage to age-old traditions, the significance of these citrus fruits takes center stage. It isn’t merely the juicy taste or the vibrant color that draws attention, but rather the meaningful essence they embody. Bringing along two mandarin oranges with the stem and a few of it’s leaves attached holds a significant symbolic weight. Not only does it act as an indicator of it’s freshness, ensuring the goodness it carries, but it also serves as a powerful representation of abundant luck in fertility, making it a highly coveted element during this momentous time of the year.

What Citrus Fruit Is Chinese New Year?

Citrus fruit plays a significant role in Chinese New Year celebrations, with Mandarin oranges being particularly essential. Symbolizing luck and prosperity, these vibrant fruits are an integral part of the traditions observed during this auspicious time. One of the most beloved customs is the exchange of Mandarin oranges, representing good fortune and well wishes for the coming year.

The choice of Mandarin oranges isn’t accidental. Their round shape and golden color symbolize fullness and wealth. The word for “orange” in Cantonese sounds similar to the word for “gold,” further enhancing it’s significance as a symbol of prosperity and abundance.

These oranges aren’t merely given out randomly; they’re usually exchanged in pairs. The pairing of fruits represents the duality of good luck and is considered even luckier than presenting a single orange. Some may even go a step further and attach red envelopes containing money to the oranges, known as “hongbao” or lucky money. This gesture not only amplifies the blessings but also adds an element of surprise and joy.

Their sweet and tangy flavor adds a refreshing note to traditional feasts, making them a delightful addition to the table.

The Importance of Citrus Symbolism in Chinese Culture: Exploring the Significance of Citrus Fruits Beyond Chinese New Year and Their Role in Various Customs and Celebrations.

Oranges and other citrus fruits hold great symbolism in Chinese culture, extending beyond the celebration of Chinese New Year. These fruits are believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and auspicious energy to various customs and celebrations throughout the year. Citrus fruits are often exchanged as gifts during festivals, weddings, and other special occasions to express well wishes and blessings.

In addition to their symbolic meaning, citrus fruits are valued for their vibrant colors, refreshing scent, and natural sweetness, which are believed to enhance positive energy in the environment. Oranges, in particular, are highly regarded for their round shape, representing wholeness, completeness, and family unity.

Citrus fruits also play a role in traditional Chinese medicine, where they’re recognized for their health benefits, including boosting the immune system and promoting digestion. The consumption of these fruits during festive occasions not only reflects cultural traditions but also highlights the importance of well-being and vitality.

Overall, citrus fruits hold significant cultural and symbolic value in Chinese society, serving as a reminder of good fortune, happiness, and auspicious beginnings throughout the year and in various customs and celebrations.

While red has long been associated with luck and prosperity during Chinese New Year, there’s a growing trend towards experimenting with other vibrant colors such as pink, orange, yellow, and even bright blues and greens. These hues can also bring about the same sense of joy and festivity, thus challenging the traditional norm of decked in red attire during this important celebration.

Is Pink OK for Chinese New Year?

Is pink OK for Chinese New Year? That’s a question many might ponder when planning their festive attire. Traditionally, red is seen as the color of luck and prosperity, and it’s the main reason why many families go out decked in this vibrant hue during Chinese New Year. However, there’s room for variety and personal style when it comes to celebrating this special occasion. While red is strongly associated with the festive spirit, other colors can have a similar impact.

Pink, for instance, is often viewed as a softer and more delicate version of red. It carries a sense of sweetness and femininity, making it a popular choice for many individuals. While it may not be as widely associated with luck and prosperity as red, pink can still bring joy and positivity to the festive season. It can also be a refreshing break from the traditional red overload and allow individuals to express their unique style.

Ultimately, what truly matters is the spirit in which you celebrate, and the love and happiness that you share with your loved ones.

Source: Can you wear pink on Chinese New Year?


In conclusion, the tradition of exchanging mandarin oranges during Chinese New Year goes beyond it’s symbolic representation of freshness and abundance. These bright citrus fruits hold a deep cultural significance as they’re believed to bring luck, prosperity, and fertility to those who receive them. The presence of the stem and leaves further accentuates their symbolic value, creating a visual reminder of the auspicious blessings they entail.

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